Greenhaw Primary School achieve ‘Operation Ukraine Relief’ success

Local primary school Greenhaw pulled out all the stops last week as they collected numerous items for the war-torn state of Ukraine. All it took was a text-alert and within hours families and staff members stepped up to the mark and a van and a bus stuffed to the brim were waved off on Tuesday last.

Many hands, little and large, carried boxes, bags, car seats and other items from the hall to the waiting van and bus. Items were also received from St. John Ambulance HQ and Seagate at Springtown. Transport was sorted by B-Fast Parcels Limited and Translink with the B-Fast van being driven all the way to the Polish border by Sean Breen and Daniel Allen.

A very proud Greenhaw Principal Shaun McLaughlin said he was delighted with the great effort put in by everyone concerned and thanked parents, staff, and, in particular, senior teacher Linda Heaney for their sterling efforts in not only collecting the items, but making sure everything was ready to go on time.

“This was Linda’s brainchild and everything happened so fast. I was amazed how quick items started to come into the school and, to be honest, we started running out of space to store them.

Pupil representatives, staff and drivers pictured on Tuesday before loading the 'Operation Ukraine Relief' items onto the waiting vehicles in the school's playground. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

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“It was an army of staff and pupils who sorted everything and met the deadline on Tuesday last with minutes to spare. I am very proud of them all.”

Ms. Heaney, who is also involved with St. John Ambulance explained how it all started a couple of weeks previous when a colleague, Karen Callaghan, suggested they collect items to send to Ukraine. All immediately agreed, and with the awful images of the many families in Ukraine suffering so badly, the wheels were put in motion.

The Greenhaw P1 teacher takes up the story: “A list of collectible items was circulated and we all stepped up to the mark to do our bit. We gave ourselves a time limit of two weeks and set to work. A couple of us extended out to our workplaces.

“I approached my boss, Shaun McLaughlin, who agreed to our school getting involved and so a text alert was sent out. Within hours our families and staff members stepped up to the mark.”

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UKRAINE-BOUND. . . . .Drivers Sean Breen and Daniel Allen load the Ukraine-bound van on Tuesday morning with the help of pupils and staff at Greenhaw Primary School.

Such was the generosity of the people in the city, the army of volunteers accumulated enough items to fill up a couple of lorries!

Then they had a problem to solve – transport. This was sorted quickly with the help of B-Fast Parcels Limited and Translink.

Linda explained: “Joe Barber attempted to find someone to help us out. In the end Karen put out an appeal and B-fast Parcels Ltd got back to her, agreeing to help.

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“And a few days later we had 45 minutes to get our items centralised in the school hall, ordered and checked and on to the vehicles in the playground. When the van was filled our friends at Translink took all the rest to Campsie for dispatchment later in the week.”

Children and staff from Greenhaw PS help get the boxes onto the Translink bus on Tueday last. On right is Ms. Linda Heaney, organiser/teacher and Mr. Shaun McLaughlin, Principal. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

Ms. Heaney also paid tribute to B-Fast and Translink and said without their help they wouldn’t have had a successful conclusion.