Everyone is acutely aware of the tragedy currently unfolding in Ukraine, and at the GO Diving Show this weekend, keynote speaker Monty Halls launched an urgent appeal for divers to donate much-needed kit to refugees from the conflict.
Monty explained: “What is happening in Ukraine is absolutely terrible, but we can all do our bit to help. There is a desperate need for thermal layers and any waterproof kit (including normal clothes, of course, not just undersuits), first-aid kits (anything medical basically, bandages, plasters, scissors, splints, etc), and torches and batteries.
“If you are anything like me, you could well have a garage full of old bits of kit, etc, and these are vital out in Europe.”
Monty is working with the Polish White Eagle Club, based in London, who are joining up with an RAF logistician to ensure that all of the gear gets where it is needed as soon as possible.
Monty added: “There are now 30 volunteers sorting kit full-time – and I have been reassured that the kit you donate will make it to the people who need it. It might take a week or two, but there are fleets of vans leaving driven by Poles to get the kit to refugees and, indeed, into Ukraine.”
Donated gear needs to be bagged separately – i.e. one bag of warm kit, one bag of torches/batteries, one bag of first-aid supplies. If you are part of a club or group, try to organise a central point where all of these donations can be dropped off and stored. Monty and his fellow volunteers are then planning to arrange regional drop-off points, and once there is kit at these, then some long-wheelbase vans will do a tour of the UK picking it all up and delivering it to the Polish White Eagle Club in London.
Monty concluded: “This is a fast-moving situation. We literally launched this at the weekend, and we are still finalising all the nitty-gritty details. But for now, if people can scour their spare rooms and garages for any of the above kit, watch this space on the rest of the logistics.”
Photo credit: Jason Brown