Swift donations from Dorset businesses lead to a successful auction raising £11,242 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal.
Items donated for the auction bids included signed AFC Bournemouth shirts, VIP tickets to the Bournemouth Air Festival, holidays and hotel stays, surf lessons, a laptop, signed cricket bat, an Audi A5 cabriolet for the weekend, lunches, dinners, afternoon teas, fashionwear, events tickets, hampers and more.
Chamber CEO Ian Girling said: “The money raised will help save lives and relieve the suffering of people fleeing this horrific war. It is easy to feel powerless in such situations but this is a way of really making a difference.”
TV personality Martin Roberts and Dorset businessman Paul Tansey met at a refugee camp while on separate mercy missions delivering medicines, supplies and emergency relief.
Martin, star of TV’s Homes under the Hammer, and former chamber president Paul spoke at an emotionally charged opening of bids in the auction.
You’re not the same guy
Paul, chief executive of the Intergage Group, travelled to the border to deliver aid after linking up with the From Bournemouth to Ukraine charity.
He told of his experiences at the border with some ‘heroic’ volunteers helping refugees and risking their lives to drive aid into Ukraine, as well as some horrific stories of children travelling alone to Poland and others dying overnight while queuing at the border.
He added: “You’re not the same guy when you come back after seeing those lives in bits.
“What Dorset Chamber has done really does matter and really will make a difference.”
Martin added “I saw children exactly like my son and daughter who had lost absolutely everything. It just strikes you in the face. People are crossing the border not knowing anything about what is ahead of them and what the rest of their life holds.
“They arrive at the refugee centre and are wrapped in so much love and support – and that is where what we are doing makes so much difference.
“it will help save lives but also lets them know that the world hasn’t forgotten about them.”