Arklow rallies as hub to support Ukrainian refugees opens in shopping centre

A hub to aid refugees from Ukraine arriving in Arklow is now open at the Bridgewater Browsing Centre.

t is a single of the supports being set in spot to help folks from Ukraine who come to Arklow.

The new hub at the Bridgewater Browsing Centre opened its doorways on Monday, April 4. It is designed to offer you details and supports to Ukrainian refugees arriving in south Wicklow. It is located on stage 2 of the searching centre in the previous food court docket place. 

Just one volunteer concerned with setting up the Arklow hub said all over 12 people served to prepare the space ahead of its opening on Monday, April 4.

“People are bringing stuff and extra donations are coming in. Men and women are generally asking ‘what do you have to have?’ They give what they can, but they want to give a lot more.”

The County Wicklow Partnership liaised with Bridgewater Purchasing Centre administration, who agreed to enable volunteers doing the job with the Affiliation of Ukranians in Republic of Eire to set up the hub. 

All around 20 volunteers are helping to run the hub. Whilst there are loads of English speaking volunteers, men and women who discuss Russian and Ukrainian are also needed to give facts to refugees.

Stephanie Staines, centre manager stated “the staff at Bridgewater are delighted to be in a place to assist the Ukrainians who are looking for refuge in Arklow and bordering areas”.

Inga Kneiziene is one particular of the men and women who are helping with arrangements for the new hub. 

She  stated folks have been “very great helping” with donations for people arriving from Ukraine.

Ms Kneiziene, who works at Adrian Dunne Pharmacy, said people today have also been dropping donations to the pharmacy to help refugees settle in Arklow.

“People and businesses have been assisting so considerably. Everyone has been supporting to established up the hub.”

Firms in the Bridgewater Purchasing Centre and other retailers which include McMullans donated clothes rails and other products for use in the hub. 

It’s understood that 35 refugees from Ukraine arrived on Monday, April 4 in Ireland and are all due for placement at Coral Leisure Centre in Arklow.

In the meantime, a Facebook team ‘Arklow refugee crisis and how to help’ has also been established up to offer you help and assist.

Lorraine Farrell said she set up the page as a “way of helping”.

“I know a handful of customers of the Ukrainian group in Arklow and I wanted to do anything to help”.

There was a “great response” from the group to the Fb group which now has in excess of 500 members.

Ms Farrell acknowledged some people today are “angry” about the sudden closure of the corridor at Coral Leisure Centre to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, but pointed out that it is a “mild inconvenience when compared to what they [the refugees] went through”,  

Presently, the hub is being organised generally by Ukrainian volunteers. Any person intrigued in receiving included is welcome to check out the hub and comprehensive a variety to specific their curiosity in volunteering.

The hub at the Bridgewater Purchasing Centre will be open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.