Edinburgh furniture store boss drives YMCA emergency aid consignment to help Mariupol evacuees

An army of volunteers from YMCA Tayside with some of the consignment of collected goods heading to Ukraine

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THE joint managing director of one of Scotland’s longest established independent furniture businesses is heading to the Poland/Ukraine border in his family motorhome packed full of healthcare provisions, warm clothing and bedding, in response to a request from YMCA Scotland to help displaced people from Mariupol in Ukraine fleeing the conflict.

Scott Mackay joint managing director of furniture retailers Richard F Mackay based on Stevenson Road, Edinburgh, accompanied by his wife Jacqueline and son, Sandy, is driving the family motorhome across Europe to the Polish border with Ukraine. From there, the goods will be taken to warehousing centres organised by the YMCA near the Ukrainian town of Zaporizhzhya where people from Mariupol have been evacuated to.

Many people fled west from Mariupol with nothing, and so YMCA Scotland has arranged delivery of a large consignment of sleeping equipment, clothing, sanitary materials, and other healthcare goods. Rucksacks too for children, filled with everything from handwash to crayons and colouring books which Scott and his family will deliver to the Polish border.

Moreover, Scott has also secured several sets of much-needed and hard-to-source bullet-proof helmets and vests – equipment that helps YMCA charity workers in Ukraine, given the heightened anxiety of stray bullet or sniper activity, and they will be shipped to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Scott Mackay commented:

“There is a real incentive driving our large motorhome across Europe. We can fill the vehicle with a pay load of around 1.25 tonnes, but, crucially, and depending on how quickly we can get visas organised under the British Visa Scheme, we have berths’ available on the return leg, to bring a handful of family members of local YMCA workers in Ukraine back with us to Scotland.”  

We have had a good relationship with the YMCA charity in Scotland over many years, and they’re often the recipients of our local charitable endeavours. When they asked us to help out in Ukraine, we were only too delighted to get involved.” 

Kerry Reilly, Chief Executive – National General Secretary, YMCA Scotland commented:

“YMCA has eighteen local bases in towns and cities across Ukraine.  Many YMCA staff and volunteers have stayed in Ukraine to provide support and care for those feeling their homes.   Here in Scotland, we’ve been in regular contact with our Ukrainian colleagues, working to ensure that they receive the goods and supplies that they tell us they need.”   

We are immensely grateful to Scott and his family who are taking our first consignment of aid to the Ukrainian border, and to all of our local YMCA supporters who have donated to our appeal.”  

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