Pub managers to deliver van loads of essentials to Ukrainian refugees

Sofia and Leonardo Mitrofan have collected two van loads full of items for Ukrainian refugees

Sofia and Leonardo Mitrofan have collected two van loads full of items for Ukrainian refugees - Credit: Supplied

A couple who run The Chequers pub in Barley have organised two vans full of essential items which they will drive to help Ukrainian refugees on the border.

Sofia Mitrofan, who is originally from Romania, started collecting donations with her husband Leonardo to help refugees arriving at the Ukraine-Romania border, just 30 miles from the city where Sofia grew up.

Sofia and Leonardo Mitrofan have collected two van loads of items to take to the Ukrainian border

Sofia and Leonardo Mitrofan, who run The Chequers in Barley, have collected two van loads of items to take to the Ukrainian border - Credit: Sofia Mitrofan

She told the Crow: "I've got quite a few friends at the border trying to help refugees. We wanted to help the people passing through the border, and there's a constant influx of refugees every day.

"We're putting together a collection from people in our community.

The managers of The Chequers in Barley have gathered essential items for Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border

The managers of The Chequers in Barley have gathered essential items for Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border - Credit: Sofia Mitrofan

"We've found a van and my husband is going to drive the van over there, find out where the refugees are being housed and hand the donations straight into the refugees' hands. We've got about 10 families held in a hostel near the border.  

"We don't have a charity involved in any of this. We've received quite a few donations from the community."

Sofia and Leonardo collected two van loads worth of items to help Ukrainian refugees

Sofia and Leonardo collected two van loads worth of items to help Ukrainian refugees - Credit: Sofia Mitrofan

A lot of the refugees are women and children, and the donations collected include nappies, powdered milk and sanitary items.

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They have also collected toiletries, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and bedding - as well as canned foods, pasta, sugar and rice, as while the refugees have free accommodation they may be short of food to cook.

"We've contacted medical practices to try to get first aid packs, bandages, and medicines for flu like paracetamol." Sofia said.

Barley Church is helping Sofia and Leonardo box up the items to take to the Ukrainian border

Barley Church is helping Sofia and Leonardo box up the items to take to the Ukrainian border - Credit: Sofia Mitrofan

"We also collected cereal bars and backpacks as some of the refugees are just travelling straight through to Europe, or will wait until they can go back to Ukraine."

The first van is being sponsored by local company Johnson Matthey - via employee Jayne Foster.

Barley resident Jeff Cash of Blackdog Creative Print is sponsoring a second van, which will be driven to the Ukrainian border by Vasile Stanciu, who runs A Plus Taxi Service Royston.

Leonardo flew to Romania on Sunday to see where the refugees are, so that he and Vasile will know what to expect when they arrive.

Sofia said: "On Thursday and Friday Barley Church are helping us box everything up and label the boxes accordingly and then on Friday we are going to set off."