Supporting those affected by the Ukrainian conflict
Witnessing the invasion unfolding on their TV screens, many of our residents, customers and team members have felt moved to support those caught up in the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Support can take many forms, and Somerset Care is proud of all the efforts those giving or receiving care are making to help the Ukrainian people, whether displaced, remaining within the war-torn country or concerned about loved ones.
Our community and residential teams have both set up collection hubs for the donation of essential supplies to be delivered to the Ukrainian border, our residents are keeping Ukraine in their thoughts, and we are ensuring that our colleagues have access to any wellbeing services they may need at this time.
My Willows family fundraiser goes to the front line
Alun Sims, the husband of My Willows Service Coordinator Michelle Sims, is personally delivering much-needed donations of clothing, blankets, baby and sanitary products to the Poland-Ukraine border, to support those forced to leave their homes as they escape the invasion of their towns and cities.
Somerset Care has made a company donation to the Go Fund Me page for this project, with funds raised being used to purchase new items such as baby products, nappies and wet-wipes, as well as cover transport costs.
Over £5,000 has so far been raised against a target of £10,000, which has enabled the first batch of donations to be delivered to the Ukrainian border. Alun, Michelle and all those involved in the project are now looking to deliver further items to support even more people affected by the conflict.
Stockmoor Lodge supports former Royal Marine
Residents and team members at our Stockmoor Lodge care home in Bridgwater have also been collecting supplies to support those made homeless by the invasion of Ukraine.
In partnership with their local Co-op and pharmacy, Stockmoor Lodge launched an urgent appeal for donations to support the efforts of former Royal Marine, Tom Littledyke, who is making repeat journeys to the Ukraine border to deliver essential supplies and offer help to those fleeing the country.
After just 24 hours, Stockmoor had managed to amass large amounts of donated blankets, storecupboard food supplies, children’s clothes, hats and baby items to support the cause.
The home’s Resident Ambassador, David Tremlett, says:
“In times of war, it’s the people that suffer, so we must do anything we can to help.”
The Stockmoor team continue to collect donations of essential items to support those affected.
Halcon Centre residents keep Ukraine in their thoughts
“Don’t forget about us.”
This is a plea repeated by many of the Ukrainian citizens and refugees interviewed by the media, and one that residents at our Halcon Centre in Taunton have taken on board.
The residents have been colouring Ukrainian flags and created a display with daffodils (a seasonal alternative to the national flower of Ukraine, the sunflower), in a show of solidarity for the country and its people.
Supporting all those affected
As well as supporting those directly caught up in the invasion of Ukraine, Somerset Care recognises the impact that the conflict may have on those living in the UK, whether they are concerned for loved ones or simply anxious about the events unfolding in Europe.
Our CEO, Gary Ridewood, explains:
“As the airstrikes and devastation continue across multiple regions of Ukraine, we remain committed to protecting the mental health our employees.
All Somerset Care colleagues have access to a free, 24/7 professional counselling helpline, which offers services in all major languages, including Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and other central European dialects. This is part of a package of wellbeing services which also includes a comprehensive, wellbeing reference library, and access to personalised one-to-one support sessions.
Caring is what we do as an organisation, and in turbulent times like these, it is important that our colleagues know that we are there to support them, just as they support those in our care. Our purpose is our people.”
Emotional and mental health support
If you are experiencing mental distress or need some emotional support, you can call Somerset Mindline’s free emotional support and mental health helpline on 01823 276 892. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mindline is a confidential listening service which provides a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is in distress.
Alternatively, you can visit www.mindinsomerset.org.uk to access online resources and support from anywhere with an internet connection