A GLASGOW charity which has been responding to humanitarian disasters and war zones across the globe for more than 20 years has today shipped off its first container of aid to help the people of Ukraine.

Glasgow the Caring City has been able to respond with immediate aid of essentials, including blankets and footwear, as the charity team and volunteers loaded a 40 tonnes lorry with the items.

The aid is now on its way to Poland where Red Cross members will be able to assist in getting the aid across the border with Ukraine.

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And it is hoped that this vital aid will be the first of many as the charity has now set up an appeal to raise £10,000 in order to send more aid in the days ahead.

The Caring City has launched the emergency fundraising appeal to allow to provide more targeted aid to Ukrainians fleeing their homeland.

A woman cuddles her newborn baby in her arms at a basement used as a bomb shelter at the Okhmadet children's hospital in central Kyiv, Ukraine.Glasgow the Caring City charity has sent the first of its aid containers

Working with partners they sent a first tranche of requested aid containing warm blankets, fresh new clothing and children’s shoes which are now bound for the border with Poland.

Ross Galbraith, the charity’s crisis resilience manager, is heading out to Poland to set up an aid arrangement with organisations on the ground drawing on his and the charity’s experience of helping communities in a time of crisis both at home and abroad.

Mr Galbraith said: “This morning we sent phase one of our humanitarian aid package to the Ukraine. We have loaded a 40 tonnes truck with around 26 tonnes of aid which will arrive on the Polish/Ukrainian border at some point in the next 72 hours.

“This is primary aid requested by local partners. It focuses on children and female welfare primarily and basic first aid for people appearing with injuries and illness. Glasgow the Caring City is Glasgow’s humanitarian organisation and we encourage everyone in the city and across Scotland to follow our JustGiving link and donate to our appeal.

“If you enable us to achieve the £10,000 target later on this week in Ukraine we will be able to procure locally the items that we need to help families and be able to deliver that effectively and efficiently.”

A woman cuddles her newborn baby in her arms at a basement used as a bomb shelter at the Okhmadet children's hospital in central Kyiv, Ukraine.Oncology patients hold up sheets of paper with the words "Stop War" at a basement used as a bomb shelter at the Okhmadet children's hospital in central Kyiv

The charity was set up in 1999 by South Side minister Rev Neil Galbraith  initially to support people affected by the war in Kosovo, especially those who came to Glasgow.

Since then Glasgow the Caring City has distributed over £600m worth of aid and development to over 70 countries, as well as projects at home in Scotland. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they delivered almost £5m of personal protective equipment to over 300 Scottish communities.

Watching the scenes from Ukraine and how civilians have been caught up in the invasion is all too familiar for Rev Galbraith.

“When I have been watching the reports and seeing the images it has an all too familiar feel about it – similar to when we were involved in our response in Kosovo some 23 years ago. We are able to draw on our years of experience and organisations we have partnered with to get the right aid there and quickly.”

If you can help go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/glasgow4ukraine