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Relief Aid Collection for Ukraine at the Formby Elim Church

AS we watch in horror at the intense conflict that is affecting this in Ukraine, threatening the lives and livelihoods of civilians across the country, many are asking how they can help. We went to see 1 the many Crisis Appeal collections that are now taking place all over the UK. Formby Elim Pentecostal Church, located on Church Road, Formby, has been holding a week long collection of household items to help make humanitarian aid packages to support Families Affected In Ukraine.

After hearing the UNHCR who have said that Ukrainian Refugees urgently up scaling relief operations across Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to support fleeing civilians, from:- emergency shelter, relief items such as blankets, and psychological support, the Pentecostal Church in Formby contacted International Aid Trust, who are based in Chorley, to see what they require. After contacting them they then asked the local community in Formby Village to donate items, such as:- food, clothing, and other supplies that can help to support refugees fleeing the conflict. The response was amazing, with people from all over the area, not just in Formby, giving to this emergency appeal. This collection of items we photographed was just part of a even bigger donation that the Church has packaged and sent to International Aid Trust Trust. From them the items will be shipped to the 1.2 million refugees and rising, from Ukraine, who have crossed borders to seek safety in neighbouring countries providing shelter to those displaced by the conflict, such as:- Poland, Hungary and Moldova.

International Aid Trust, said this week, in a public message:- "A huge thank you to everyone for all your support of our Ukraine Appeal in so many ways! Answers to some frequently asked questions:-

What do you need most? Dried food, especially pasta and rice (with at least 12 months best before date.

Do you have a deadline? No we will be sending aid into Ukraine and to support those displaced for the foreseeable future.

As the response to the appeal has been so amazing, a couple of other things to mention: if you are planning to drop donations off at one of our charity shops, please phone first, as some of them are running out of space. If you are planning to bring a large number of donations to the warehouse eg. a van rather than a car, please can you phone to arrange a time? Call:- 017726119888 or send a message on our Facebook Page. We are very grateful to everyone who has volunteered to help with sorting and packing donations! There are lots, lots more to do, of you, would like to help please get in touch. Thank you all very much again for your support!"

International Aid Trust is just 1 of many charities providing humanitarian relief to the people of Ukraine, who have been displaced by the conflict. If you want to donate money, there are a number of ways you can do it. These are just a few of the charities and organisations helping those affected by this invasion by Russian Forces:-
LINK UNICEF LINK British Ukrainian Aid
LINK UN Refugees LINK Christian Aid UK
LINK Red Cross LINK - International Aid Trust
LINK Oxfam LINK Help Rescue UK

The GMB Union says Kremlin controlled Gazprom has scooped at least ₤25 million from the UK's public sector last year

MANCHESTER, Newcastle, London, Yorkshire and Humber among areas to become entangled in supply chain that funds Putin's war machine according to the GMB Union. The Union has evidence that the energy firm Gazprom, who has headquarters is located in Saint Petersburg, holds contracts worth tens of millions of pounds UK with public sector bodies. The PJSC Gazprom is a Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation and is the largest publicly listed natural gas company in the world and the largest company in Russia by revenue. On discovery that this Kremlin controlled company's trading arm has such contracts, The Union has now called for an immediate ban on new contracts to Gazprom being awarded to them. Public sector bodies spent at least ₤25 million on Gazprom's services in 2021, according to public spending records, and the true figure is probably higher. According to published spending logs, expenditure included:-

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent ₤7.1 million; the most of any public sector body.

Manchester City Council spent ₤1.6 million.

Westminster City Council spent ₤1.5 million.

Major recent contracts won by Gazprom included a ₤3.6 million deal to supply gas and electricity to the University of Manchester.

Delta Academies Trust,- 1 of the largest academy groups in the country, also signed a ₤1.8 million deal in 2020 for:- "provision of mains gas supplies to Academies in Yorkshire and the Humber."

Gazprom Marketing and Trading Limited has operated in the UK since 1999. The company paid a total of ₤1.2 billion in dividends back to its parent over the last 5 years, company documents reveal.

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:- "Serious questions need to be asked about how our Schools and Hospitals have become entangled in the energy supply chain that fuels Putin's war machine. Ultimately, this spending is an indictment of the failure of UK energy policy to prioritise affordable and secure supply. It is morally unconscionable for contracts to still be awarded while missiles rain down on Ukrainian workers. There should be no new public sector contract awards to Gazprom, and we need an urgent Government review into whether alternative suppliers can take on existing contracts."

What are your thoughts on this? Is the GMB correct? Also, do you know of any other suspected Kremlin controlled firms that are trading in the North West? Please do let us know by emailing our Newsroom, by sending your thoughts to:-  News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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