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Aid for Ukraine - Cefndy-Medequip Team Helps to Make It Happen

Sorting and packing boxes of aid for Ukraine

Often the greatest challenge in getting donations to areas of need is the logistics element of the solution. This was certainly the case in Newport, where a massive effort by community group The Women of Newport had resulted in the collection of everything from food, clothes and nappies through to medicines and medical equipment donated by the local NHS Trust for Ukrainian refugees.

The drive had been so successful that the group had been forced to put a temporary stop on new items. The existing donations filled an entire three floor hotel building, as well as retail units at Newport's Friars Walk shopping centre. The Women of Newport had successfully sourced an HGV to take the donations to a refugee centre in Poland, but they needed to be sorted and moved from the existing locations to a storage facility accessible to the large vehicle.

Step in Cefndy-Medequip, the community equipment service provider for Gwent. Cefndy-Medequip is a sheltered workshop in partnership between Medequip and Cefndy Healthcare, an arm of Denbighshire County Council, who together offer meaningful employment for disabled people.

Manager Ben Giddings made contact with the group to offer practical assistance. Our role is to provide equipment on loan to the people of Gwent to help them stay independent in their own homes for longer, stated Ben. Community engagement and co-production are vital aspects of the work we do. Our people wanted to make a real contribution to the great work being done by The Women of Newport, and we could do this by offering our people and our fleet of vehicles.

Vans from Cefndy-Medequip staffed by volunteers began by removing the stock from the shopping centre, ferrying both palletised goods and loose items to the company's depot on the Felnex Industrial Estate. Here, the team was able to unload goods in a canopied area which could easily be accessed by the HGV.

Volunteers from Cefndy-Medequip then worked to palletise the loose items ready for transportation to Poland, loading the finished pallets onto the vehicle in preparation for the journey. The vans, drivers and volunteers also worked to move more goods from the Westgate Hotel to a more appropriate location for sorting and shipping.

It was a massive team effort, with Cefndy-Medequip staff pitching in all weekend and evenings as well as during working hours to help clear the backlog, explained Ben. The shipment is now on its way to Poland, and we're very proud to have been able to play a part in the project. We're looking forward to continuing our involvement in the near future!

We were humbled and emotional to see the dedication of Natalia from The Women of Newport and her efforts in getting much needed supplies to Poland for the Ukrainian refugees. We are proud of our staff for volunteering to help make this happen - this is a team of fantastic people doing a fantastic job.
Judith Addis, Operations Manager, Denbighshire County Council (Cefndy Healthcare).
The Gwent Wide Integrated Equipment Service who commission Cefndy-Medequip were impressed by the efforts made by the organisation in response to the need for logistics support for the Women of Newport group. It was great to see such a big effort made by the staff at the depot towards such an urgent need.  We hope that this will continue to be supported for much needed supplies to reach Ukrainian refugees.
Louise Ferris, GWICES Advanced Occupational Therapy Practitioner and Andrea Holcombe, GWICES Accountant & Performance Lead.
It was a huge achievement for the team in Newport to be able to support this initiative. They were all energised at the opportunity to assist The Women of Newport and even came in on the Saturday to support the logistics operation needed. I am immensely proud of the team in Newport for the work that they have done and our contribution to the efforts to help the people of the Ukraine who are so desperately in need of these supplies. Well done to everyone at Newport!
Michaela Harris - General Manager South West.
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