Dominika Hicks is based in Bexhill and has a strong connection to the De La Warr Pavilion, working here for many years.  We caught up with Dom yesterday where she told us about her recent trip to her hometown in Poland, where they are accepting over 100 children from Ukrainian orphanages, and over 100 women and children, and what she is doing to help. Here’s what Dom told us:

“I’m Polish and Poland is currently accepting hundred thousands of refugees from Ukraine. My hometown in Poland is taking over 100 children from Ukrainian orphanage and over 100 women and children, and I want to help.

The war in Ukraine has really affected me. Until the last minute, I did not think that Russia would actually attack the country. I kept in touch with my sister in Poland who works with many Ukrainian people and they did not believe that this would happen. So when Russia attacked Ukraine I was shocked, angry and very sad to the point that I was struggling to deal with it. After hearing that my town accepted a group of 76 children from a Ukrainian orphanage and after talking to my friends in Poland, I decided that I need to do something to help. 

I decided to set up a GoFundMe page to raise £500 which could buy toys to make them feel like home. I did not expect that the response would be so amazing and I have now raised over £7000. I travelled to Poland on Thursday 10 March to find out what was happening, what else I can do and what is the best way to spend the money I raised. Apart from the Ukrainian orphans, the town has accepted over 500 refugees, mainly women and children who are staying in local hotels, guest houses, with private families and over 100 people (women and children) are staying in a local sports hall which is now their home. 

I went to visit them after meeting with the Mayor Piotr Lewandowski. I met volunteers who are helping and women and children from Ukraine who are now staying in the hall. 

We discussed the best way to help and apart from donating money, I have also bought medicines, food and a washing machine. I am now paying for more supplies and have transferred money which will be used for specific help like teachers, psychologists and carers. Some of the children from the orphanage are disabled and they will need more support. Children will also start school and I will buy supplies needed. The money will also help refugees staying locally, refugees still arriving and will help to buy supplies for people still in Ukraine. 

I am hoping to go back soon to see what else can be done. We are a population of 4000 people with 500 refugees, ready to accept up to 900.

My GoFundMe page will keep going for as long as it is needed and you can support me by donating or by sharing with others. Thank you”

Watch Dominika being interviewed by BBC South Today from the De La Warr Pavilion here.

Donate to the GoFundMe page here.

Dominika and Mayor Piotr Lewandowski

Posted by Luke on Wednesday 16 March 2022