North Devon business leader helps community stand with Ukraine

North Devon Gazette

A North Devon business leader has called on people to do as much as they can to help the beleaguered people of Ukraine as the Russian invasion of their country enters its second week.Â

The trustees of the Philip J Milton & Company Plc Charitable Foundation on Thursday, March 3, authorised £10,000 to be sent immediately to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. The Government is matching donations up to £20million too.

The company has also offered to provide storage for donations at its former offices at 17 Joy Street, near the Oramus and Clay Polish shop run by Andy Metcalf, who is helping to collect for a North Devon wide appeal.Â

That is being run by Richard Easterbrook of Estrada Exports and his Ukrainian wife Mariya, who are planning to take a 40-foot trailer of supplies out to the border with Poland next week.Â

Mr Milton said: “I stand in admiration at how quickly the North Devon community has rallied around to support the people of Ukraine, who did nothing to warrant the illegal invasion of their country.Â

“I am not surprised at such local generosity though, as North Devon has always come up trumps to help those in need.Â

“If in some small way my company and its staff can help to support this, we will.Â

“Words fail all of us over the Ukraine situation – very sad and no-one really knows or understands what Mr Putin is trying to prove or achieve.”Â

Mr Milton said his clients were understandably anxious about the situation and how it may affect their finances.Â

Investments have been attacked by volatility and whilst the firm’s clients have been much better protected than many through its judicious choices of holdings, there would inevitably be some reductions though, nothing like the 15-20 per cent since the recent peaks, as seen on the more popular market indices generally.Â

He added: “We are in regular contact with all our investors and they know they can contact us any time. We care for our clients and will keep them updated throughout.”Â

The DEC appeal has seen charities including Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD and Save the Children respond directly or through local partners in Ukraine.Â

They are moving as quickly as they can to help the almost one million people already forced to flee the conflict, most of them elderly, women and children, with men aged 18 to 60 told to remain and resist the invaders.Â

The initial relief effort will focus on supporting families with cash grants, food packages, warm clothing and shelter.Â

Anyone who wishes to donate cash to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal can do so via www.dec.org.uk.Â

Richard Easterbrook has already raised more than £10,000 locally and you can donate money or items such as medical supplies, outdoor equipment and essential hygiene supplies.Â

Visit the North Devon Council Facebook page for details or see more on Richard’s own page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.easterbrook.984

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