Olivia Colman hails Mail readers for their 'incredible generosity' as Mail Force donate £250,000


An astounding flood of donations from generous Mail on Sunday readers will help brave UN aid workers deliver life-saving medical supplies to desperately struggling hospitals across Ukraine.

We can today announce that Unicef, the UN’s children’s charity, is to receive £250,000 from Mail Force’s record-breaking Ukraine Appeal.

Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman heaped praise on the ‘incredibly generous’ readers of The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail last night.

The Crown star, who is president of Unicef UK, said a £250,000 donation from Mail Force to the UN’s children’s charity will help aid workers continue ‘vital work’ saving the lives of children and families caught up in the fighting.

Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman (pictured) heaped praise on the 'incredibly generous' readers of The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail last night

Oscar-winning British actress Olivia Colman (pictured) heaped praise on the ‘incredibly generous’ readers of The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail last night

Amidst deadly conflict, heroic health workers at this underground maternity unit in Kharkiv are helping bring new life into the world (Photo: Unicef)

Amidst deadly conflict, heroic health workers at this underground maternity unit in Kharkiv are helping bring new life into the world (Photo: Unicef)

‘To know children are being killed, injured and traumatised is heart-breaking,’ she said.

‘Unicef are on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to support as many vulnerable families and children as they can.

‘I thank the Mail for their incredibly generous donation, which will help Unicef continue delivering vital work for children and families.’

As the catastrophe in Ukraine deepens, Unicef is delivering desperately needed drugs and medical equipment to 100 hospitals, including maternity units, where terrified mothers and newborns are sheltering in basements from Vladimir Putin’s ruthless bombardment.

Yesterday, the first convoy of eight aid trucks arrived in the western city of Lviv carrying critical medical supplies – and thanks to the generosity of Mail readers many more will now follow.

As the catastrophe in Ukraine deepens, Unicef is delivering desperately needed drugs and medical equipment to 100 hospitals, including maternity units, where terrified mothers and newborns are sheltering in basements from Vladimir Putin's ruthless bombardment

As the catastrophe in Ukraine deepens, Unicef is delivering desperately needed drugs and medical equipment to 100 hospitals, including maternity units, where terrified mothers and newborns are sheltering in basements from Vladimir Putin’s ruthless bombardment

The Mail on Sunday – in parallel with its sister paper the Daily Mail – launched an appeal last week to help stricken families caught up in the spiralling humanitarian crisis. Yesterday, the appeal, the fastest newspaper fundraiser in history, hit an astonishing £3.6 million.

Money collected by the Mail Force charity is already being passed to established organisations operating in Ukraine and on the borders with Poland, Romania and Hungary where more than 1.4 million people have fled, including at least 500,000 children.  

Colman’s comments were echoed by British actor David Harewood, who is an ambassador for Unicef UK.

The Homeland star said: ‘Up to 7.5million children could be affected by this escalation of violence – and the situation for children caught up in the conflict in Ukraine grows worse by the minute.

‘Thanks to the generosity of the Mail and its readers, Unicef will be able to support even more children who urgently need it – from clean water to towels and blankets, gas burners to batteries and fuel to first aid kits.’ 

Money collected by the Mail Force charity is already being passed to established organisations operating in Ukraine and on the borders with Poland, Romania and Hungary where more than 1.4 million people have fled, including at least 500,000 children

Money collected by the Mail Force charity is already being passed to established organisations operating in Ukraine and on the borders with Poland, Romania and Hungary where more than 1.4 million people have fled, including at least 500,000 children

British singer Jessie Ware, who is also an ambassador for the charity, said: ‘These vital funds raised by Mail on Sunday readers will help children and families who have been forced to leave their homes and cross the border, many undertaking difficult and treacherous journeys.’ 

Jon Spark, chief executive of Unicef UK, said last night the charity was ‘deeply grateful’ for the Mail Force donation, adding: ‘These funds will help us continue to deliver critical and lifesaving support to the children of Ukraine.’

With Ukraine’s health system on the verge of collapse, the appeal is more vital than ever.

Maternity wards and paediatric units have been forced into underground bomb shelters, while critical supplies – including first aid kits, oxygen, insulin and cancer treatments – are in short supply.

The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE 

Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate 

To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

Account name: Mail Force Charity

Account number: 48867365

Sort code: 60-00-01

TO MAKE A DONATION VIA CHEQUE

Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Force’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

TO MAKE A DONATION FROM THE US

US readers can donate to the appeal via a bank transfer to Associated Newspapers or by sending checks to dailymail.com HQ at 51 Astor Place (9th floor), New York, NY 10003

‘It is overwhelming,’ Murat Sahin, Unicef’s representative in Ukraine, told the MoS last night.

‘As we speak there are children being born in their basements at home or in the basements of hospitals. This is not what a mother and family should experience.’

Unicef already has 140 aid workers on the ground in Ukraine. Its first convoy of medical aid was unpacked yesterday morning before being sent on to hospitals across the country.

It included midwifery kits, which contain sterilisation and resuscitation equipment and help doctors safely deliver babies in challenging and unhygienic locations. They are urgently needed at a major hospital in the devastated suburbs of Kharkiv in northern Ukraine.

Russian shelling forced doctors to evacuate newborns and their mothers into the hospital’s basement. Heartbreaking images show a row of babies lined up in plastic cots under ageing ventilation pipes.

Mothers breastfeed sitting on thin mattresses on the floor while pillows have been stuffed up against two small windows to protect the babies from any flying glass from explosions outside. The hospital’s intensive care unit is on its fourth floor, making it impossible to move critically ill patients underground. Mr Sahin said heroic medical staff are caring for them while shelling has continued outside.

Despite Kharkiv being encircled by Russian forces, Mr Sahin said Unicef was determined to resupply the hospital, adding: ‘We will do everything we can to reach them.’

The situation is also desperate at Okhmadyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, where more than 20 children on kidney dialysis have been moved to a basement to continue receiving their critical treatment. Last week, Unicef aid workers supplied the hospital with ten oxygen concentrators, a device that gives patients extra oxygen, for the most seriously ill children.

On Friday morning a woman dressed as a clown toured the underground ward entertaining the children.

Dozens of other youngsters, including cancer patients, were initially moved to the basement but then evacuated to Poland in a makeshift hospital ward on a train. Those requiring dialysis, however, are too sick to move.

Former BBC reporter John Sweeney posted a series of emotional videos online after witnessing the appalling conditions. ‘If they move they may die,’ he said. ‘But because of Putin’s war, if they stay they may die.’

The World Health Organisation said last week there were signs that hospitals and health workers were being directly targeted. On February 24 a ballistic missile struck a hospital in eastern Ukraine, while a maternity hospital near Kyiv was hit during an attack last Tuesday.

Unicef is also setting up 26 so-called ‘blue dot centres’ in neighbouring countries to help the exodus of families fleeing the fighting. Aid workers at the centres, which can each help 5,000 people a day, distribute blankets, water and hygiene kits, offer psychological support and attempt to identify any children who are separated from their parents.

Centres have opened in Romania and Moldova, and eight more are planned along the Polish border.

This handout picture released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on March 5, 2022, shows what is said the wreckage of a Russian military aircraft on the outskirts of the city of Chernihiv

This handout picture released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on March 5, 2022, shows what is said the wreckage of a Russian military aircraft on the outskirts of the city of Chernihiv

Pictured: A burned car where 4 people died as a result of a shelling on March 5, 2022 in Markhalivka, Ukraine

Pictured: A burned car where 4 people died as a result of a shelling on March 5, 2022 in Markhalivka, Ukraine

Neighbours and relatives help remove the rubble of a house destroyed with shelling on March 5, 2022 in Markhalivka, Ukraine

Neighbours and relatives help remove the rubble of a house destroyed with shelling on March 5, 2022 in Markhalivka, Ukraine

Those backing our appeal included the Duchess of Cornwall, who gave a ‘substantial’ donation on Wednesday. At the request of Lord and Lady Rothermere, the Mail and Mail on Sunday’s parent company, DMGT, has donated £500,000.

Online donations have poured in from generous readers and cheques have arrived by the sack load from all across the UK.

Kind-hearted reader Jim Fletcher is running for six hours, and hopefully covering 30 miles, on March 20 to raise funds for our appeal. 

Appealing for donations, Mr Fletcher wrote: ‘Help me to provide much-needed money to charities giving aid, including shelter, clothes and food, to refugees who need it most.’

The Russian President poses for a photo with Aeroflot employees during his visit to Aeroflot aviation training complex outside Moscow on March 5

The Russian President poses for a photo with Aeroflot employees during his visit to Aeroflot aviation training complex outside Moscow on March 5

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) gives flowers to women flight crew of Russian airlines during his visit to the aviation training center of PJSC Aeroflot on the eve of International Women's Day Moscow, Russia, March 5, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) gives flowers to women flight crew of Russian airlines during his visit to the aviation training center of PJSC Aeroflot on the eve of International Women’s Day Moscow, Russia, March 5, 2022

Local resident walks through the rubble as a result of shelling in Markhalivka, March 5, 2022

Local resident walks through the rubble as a result of shelling in Markhalivka, March 5, 2022

Money raised by our appeal is already being put to good use. Mail Force revealed a £500,000 donation to CARE International last week. Thanks to readers’ generosity, aid workers from its local partner, the Eastern European charity People In Need, are helping mothers and children arriving in Slovakia.

Mr Sahin heaped praise on our readers last night for funding Unicef’s critical work, adding: ‘Thank you so much for mobilising your readers. Every penny that has been given will go to the children here whether it is medicine, vaccines, water, hygiene, psychosocial support to young people.’

Mail on Sunday readers can make donations to the appeal online, by phone or by cheque.

Readers can also donate through our Mail Force fundraising site – mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate.

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