TWO days after Ukrainians started fleeing their homeland to escape the terror of Putin’s assault, the uniform shop at an Andover school received a call from a Polish organisation in the town asking for donations of clothing, toiletries and other aid to send out to the refugees starting to arrive in Poland.

A message was sent out to parents at Farleigh School with a result that was both immediate and overwhelming, in response to what was becoming a desperate humanitarian situation.

The school was then told that a long-standing member of staff (and past parent) still had family trapped in Kyiv which made it all the more urgent, and the generosity of families in donating toiletries, medicines, warm clothing and blankets, was humbling.

As donations started arriving, it was clear that there was much work to do in sorting and packing.

A group of Farleigh parents and a team of Year 8 pupils, all keen to offer their support, joined the staff of the school uniform shop to sort, pack and label the growing collection of donations and do what they could to help alleviate the terrible plight of the Ukrainian people.

On March 5, the school had a fantastic response from those who recruited entire families, the weekend parent hockey team and anyone who could make themselves available to lend a hand.

Helpers arrived in every form of transport to help shift what had become a mountain of aid to a central hub in Andover, ready for its journey east.

By the end of the day, over 1,000 bags had been collected, sorted, labelled and repacked, ready to start their journey to Poland in three trucks organised by the Polish community in Andover.

A school spokesperson said: "It was an excellent example of what can be achieved at speed by community and generosity of spirit and we have no doubt it will be matched across the nation, as we all do what we can to help all the brave people of Ukraine.

"Farleigh are determined to continue to think of ways to support the charities working with refugees, turning our attention now to raising money, and on Thursday we held a quiz in aid of the Disaster’s Emergency Committee (DEC)."