Ukrainian worker at popular South Shields takeaway Friez and Burgz thanks South Tyneside, as couple set up collection points across the borough to support those fleeing from Ukraine

A Ukrainian man working at a popular South Shields takeaway has thanked the people of their South Tyneside for showing their support to his embattled homeland as a South Shields couple appeal for donations to help the cause.

Danielle Lamoury, 37, and her partner, Gavin Benos, 41, decided to set up collections across the Borough for people who want to help after thousands of people have been forced to flee the country following the invasion by Russia.

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The donated goods will be given to North East firm ‘Rubbish Taxi’ which will take them to the Polish border.

From L- R Cllr Moira Smith, Andria Willliams from Morrisons, Gavin Benos, Alex Lucas, Lee Hughes from the Red Hackle, Mark Pattinson from Morrisons and Danielle Lamoury

Danielle, from Brockley Whins, South Shields, said: “I just felt moved to do something. The pictures on the news are heartbreaking and I felt so helpless.

“I don’t see any other way of helping but at least this way we can all show our support for these poor people who have had to leave their homes with virtually nothing.”

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The North East is home to dozens of Ukrainians who have been deeply saddened to see the Russian invasion wreak havoc in their homeland.

Among them is Alex Lucas, who works at the Friez & Burgz in Fowler Street, South Shields, which is hosting a collection point.

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He said: “There is so much support and so many kind people who actually care who are here, who are donating, who are supporting it’s just very kind and gives hope.”

Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Co-operatives, has praised the community spirit shown by the couple.

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She said: “I am sure we will have all felt moved by the scenes of devastation filling our TV screens. As in any conflict, it is the ordinary people who suffer the most. The generous people of South Tyneside have a long and proud history of reaching out and supporting those in distress.

“I appreciate many residents are facing hardships of their own in this current economic climate but I also know that those who can give, will give.”

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“It is this sort of community spirit and cooperation that led to the launch of the #Love South Tyneside campaign which recognises those who give their time to support others. I commend Danielle and Gavin for their efforts and all those residents who I know will support them.”

Andria Williams, community champion at Morrisons in Jarrow, said: “All community champions across all Morrisons stores are behind this. We will have buckets on the tills in every Morrisons store across the country in the coming days, we are making pick up packs and stores will have their own donation station as well as working with community groups in their area.

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“We felt compelled to do something because we care, and we know our customers do too.

Collection points for donations have been set up across South Tyneside, including at Red Hackle pub in Jarrow, Morrison’s in South Shields and Jarrow, Living Waters Church and Friez & Burgz.

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For the latest news and information about the Ukraine invasion click here for NationalWorld coverage.

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