Oasis Community Hub

Salford’s Oasis Community Hub MediaCityUK is inviting people to do their bit for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homes for shelter in neighbouring countries.

The community hub is asking people to get together and make thermal blankets for those escaping Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The process is simple, by taking empty and cleaned crisp packets and ironing them together in a quilt-style shape, the end product can be used to wrap around people to help insulate body heat.

Volunteer testing the size of the thermal blanket. Photo credit: Beth Smith (Journalist)

Oasis has been collecting empty packets for 12 months and running the activity for five, donating the blankets to homeless charities in and around Salford, such as Emmaus.

After seeing local Polish centre, Wilno, requesting thermal blankets, staff at the community centre decided to answer their call and send some to them to send to the Ukraine-Poland border. Depending on the number of volunteers, they can get nearly 20 made in a day.

“Collectively we’ve made so many blankets, the more we band together and work as a community the better” said Kate Forshaw, family and community engagement officer at the community hub.

Volunteer opens up and cleans the donated crisp packets. Photo credit: Beth Smith (Journalist)

As of Wednesday, it is estimated over one million people have fled Ukraine to seek shelter and asylum in neighbouring countries, with over half of them arriving in Poland, reports the United Nations (UN).

Workers at Oasis hope to rally the community of Salford and Greater Manchester to work together to do their bit to aid the humanitarian crisis happening in Ukraine.

“It’s heart breaking to see” said Hannah Miller, hub leader at Oasis Community Hub MediaCityUK.

“We have lots of people that use our community space that are directly involved, one of our hub councillors is from Ukraine”

“We have people that come [to our Talk English Cafe] who are Russian, we know what impact it has on them and how they feel”

The Hub has done work with refugees before and would be willing to do more should the UK government decide to allow people who have escaped Ukraine to come here for asylum.

Parcels of donated packets of crisp pile high in the Hub. Photo credit: Beth Smith (Journalist)

“If there’s anything we can do to support more refugees, that’s something Oasis has done before and would do again if we were to take Ukrainian refugees” continued Hannah.

They are inundated with empty crisp packets from people who want to help but may not have time to get to the centre, workers at the hub assure people making the thermal blankets is easy and requires no prior arts & crafts skills.

“The more we band together and work as a community the better”

“There are people from all around the world in Salford, we can all learn from each other” concluded Kate.

If you would like to get involved and do your bit, Oasis Community Hub will be welcoming any volunteers on Wednesdays from 9am. See their social media site for more information @mediacityhub.

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