Candles For Ukraine
Almost exactly a year ago SHAP announced a tentative plan to collect candles from local people to send to those struggling without power in Ukraine.
The media got behind the initiative and now thousands of candles, some new, some partly used have been sent to us in Swindon from all over the country. The response has been overwhelming and magnificent.
At our warehouse unit close to Swindon Railway Station we make trench candles to provide a heat source for cold Ukrainians -winter temperatures dip to an alarming minus 30 C -as well as creating large blocks of wax from odd ends that we send to volunteers in Ukraine who make huge numbers of candles for the local population.
All in all we have probably sent around 30 tonnes of candles to Ukraine.
The chilly mornings this week with the first frost confirms that winter is again approaching. We want to build on last years campaign and ensure that Swindon does yet more to support our friends in Ukraine.
The infrastructure in Ukraine is under immense pressure. Huge areas of the country are regularly without electricity. Just imagine trying to survive in freezing temperatures - perhaps with young children or older family members - hearing missiles obliterating nearby houses. This is the reality in much of Eastern Ukraine and we in Swindon can help to make a difference and further support our Ukrainian friends.
The project has now reached the Cornish coast. The Atlantic Coast Cluster of five churches has joined groups throughout the UK collecting candles, all of which will be delivered to SHAP’s warehouse in Swindon. Here, old candles are being melted down and made into new lights and wax tin heat sources by SHAP’s wonderful team of Ukrainian volunteers. They are then dispatched to charities in Ukraine along with other vital supplies.
The Atlantic Coast Cluster comprises of churches in St. Agnes, Mount Hawke, Perranporth, Cubert, and Crantock near Newquay. Their Priest in Charge, Revd Canon Anne Brown, is coordinating the effort and reaching out to schools and other organisations in the community. Christ Church has been a community drop off point for Swindon donations since the project began after Christmas and it is lovely to see other churches getting involved.
Anne is seen here in the beautiful church of St. Agnes with the latest batch of donated candles.