Volunteers supporting rescue work in Ukraine have taken delivery of £10,000 worth of phones donated by Whiteley-based tech recycling specialist WeBuyAnyPhone.com.
The package of 100 brand new Alcatel devices, chosen for their long battery life, were included in a van load of aid delivered to Poland by a Hampshire-based group of volunteers.
From there, the phones will go to the Ukrainian Association of Women in Law Enforcement, which will use them to co-ordinate search and rescue efforts, and for counselling people traumatised by the conflict. Mobile phones are in short supply in the country because of ongoing looting by Russian forces.
Aaron Brown, Co-Founder of WeBuyAnyPhone.com, said: “All of us at WeBuyAnyPhone.com have been shocked and appalled to see the suffering in Ukraine, but also in awe of those who are helping on the front line and by delivering aid to those who need it.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to help, but when we heard about the need for mobile phones, we saw a way that we could have an immediate impact. We’re pleased to see that these devices are now going to be put to good use, and grateful to Mick and all the volunteers involved for getting them where they were needed most.”
The delivery was co-ordinated by Mick Balch, Managing Director at Portsmouth-based L&S Waste Management, who has completed several deliveries to the region since war began in February.
Mick is connected to a network of volunteers including Graeme Warnell (pictured above receiving the donated phones), who lives in Krakow with his wife Aga. The couple have been helping house refugees and get donations to those who need them.
Graeme said: “There is a fantastic group here of people who are helping, just using their own time to do whatever they can – whether that’s housing refugees, getting aid to where it needs to be or feeding back what people need.
“Mobile phones are crucial to co-ordinating the effort and they needed simple phones with long battery life to keep the lines of communication open.
“We’re very grateful to WeBuyAnyPhone.com for providing these devices, which will help people om the ground directly in a way that will make a huge difference.”