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Ukrainian Pastor Sends God’s Blessings to Middlesbrough

By Published April 29, 2022

A Ukrainian pastor has sent “God’s blessings” to the “wonderful families” of Middlesbrough who have contributed vital aid to Mariupol.

Last month Middlesbrough Council agreed to help a collection campaign organised by Ukrainian families living locally and Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston urged local people to give what they could.

Drop off points were made available at community hubs across the town and last week the items were sorted at Myplace in Middlehaven before a delegation set off for Poland, with the first van driven by Darren Pearce.

He was met in Poland by Ukrainian national Oleksander, who has contacts with Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko, in Mariupol. This will ensure the donations collected in Middlesbrough will go directly to where they are needed the most.

In a message sent back to the people of Middlesbrough, Pastor Mokhnenko said: “My dear friends. On behalf of our church and the whole of Ukraine, we sincerely thank you for your sacrifice. God bless you all and your wonderful families and your wonderful country. We will pray increasingly for you. Sincerely grateful for your help. God’s blessings to you, thank you!”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “We appreciate the pastor’s kind words. It’s our duty to do this for others and we will continue to support people across the world – we have an unrivalled track record in Middlesbrough of helping anyone in need whether they are around the corner or on the other side of the world.”

One Middlesbrough resident from Ukraine involved in the aid collection campaign, Inna, said: “That we can coordinate with Oleksander and Pastor Mokhnenko for our humanitarian help makes me feel so happy. It means the donations will go directly to the people who are so desperate for help.”

Jolande Mace, Middlesbrough Council’s Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager, said: “We have been so happy to provide assistance to this group and ensure people from Middlesbrough can help the people of Ukraine. It has been a tremendous effort by residents and volunteers alike, Middlesbrough’s community spirit at its best.”

Donations can still be dropped off at the following locations and times:

  • North Ormesby Hub, Derwent Street, TS3 6JB. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm and Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm.
  • Newport Community Hub, Union Street, TS1 4EE. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4.30pm.
  • Thorntree Community Hub, Birkhall Road, TS3 9JW. Monday, Tuesday, Friday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
  • Easterside Community Hub, Broughton Avenue, TS4 3PZ. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
  • Grove Hill Community Hub, Bishopton Road, TS4 2RP. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
  • MyPlace, TS2 1JP. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4.30pm.


Members of the public who wish to help have been asked by the group to provide good quality:

  • Sleeping bags, blankets, and camping mats
  • First aid equipment – bandages, vinyl, medical gloves, antiseptic wipes
  • Torches, candles, batteries
  • Dried food, rice, pasta, high protein meat, tinned fish
  • Adhesive plasters, Vaseline, and permanent markers


The group is not able to accept:

  • Clothes
  • Bedding, towels, or pillows
  • Prescription or over the counter medication, alcohol hand wash
  • Lighters, matches, or flammable liquids
  • Large tinned or fresh food, or other perishables
  • Scissors, razors, or biro pens


Those who can are asked to box their items and use a permanent marker to cross out the barcode, thereby easing the load on volunteers. This is so that items are not sold on by anyone.

Those who wish to make a financial donation can do so through the British Red Cross (DEC Ukraine Appeal | British Red Cross), or Unicef (Ukraine crisis: donate now to protect children - Unicef UK)

The group may also look for volunteers to help sort and pack donations. For any questions or offers of help, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who will connect you to the relevant people.

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