04:00PM, Tuesday 22 March 2022
The owner of a Fifield pub travelled to Poland on Monday to drop off a large quantity of supplies for Ukrainians – donated by generous neighbours and punters.
David Hepworth, owner of the Fifield Inn, set out at 7am on Monday and is set to be back on Thursday night. He has been collecting donations alongside Robert Jones, from Ascot.
“You see the pain and suffering and misery being caused, every day – normal folk like us are being displaced inside Europe,” he said.
“Everyone thought after the Second World War, this would never happen again and it has.
“Everyday people – shopkeepers, accountants – have now had to take up arms to defend their homes.
“I want to do whatever I possibly can to help. I can give to charity but the most precious thing I can give is my time.”
Among the donations was 1,500 personal care kits from Clean Conscience, a Holyport-based matchmaking service which allows surplus to be donated to non-profits rather than disposed of.
Individuals, too, have been ‘incredibly generous’, with one Fifield Inn local donating £200.
“It’s quite unbelievable, the generosity of people,” David said.
Though the cut-off for this round was Monday, that is not the end of David’s involvement – he says he will continue to take donations and make other runs when he can.
“The aim is to carry on with as long as there’s a demand,” he said. “I’ve got a pub and family commitments but I will go as often as I can.”
Future donations can be money, medicine, shoes, sanitary products, baby milk and tinned food – with ‘no donation too small or too large’.
“I absolutely know I don’t [have the time to spare] but I’m going to do it anyway,” he said. “It’s a big commitment but none of these people asked to be in the position they’re in.
“I’ve been to Ukraine and Poland several times, and that gives this another dimension – I know how generous and caring they are, people who will take you into their homes.”
David is also looking to raise £20,000 to send over an equipped ambulance. He said this project is ‘already making progress’.
“As soon as I’m able to get that, fill it up and take that over, I will,” David said. “Time is of the essence – they need it now.”
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.