Tons of aid on way to Balkans flood victims

Danica and Lazar Vukovic, Vesna O'Boyle, Tanja Celebicanin and truck driver Sinisa Zaric
Danica and Lazar Vukovic, Vesna O'Boyle, Tanja Celebicanin and truck driver Sinisa Zaric

A truck packed with 24 tons of emergency aid left Corby yesteday to help the victims of flooding in the Balkans.

The appeal organised by Lazar Vukovic with support from his wife Danica and a team of tireless volunteers, was a huge success thanks to the generosity and support of local and national companies and residents who donated tinned goods, bottled water, clothing, hygiene products, nappies and baby food.

For 10 days helpers worked to collect and pack donations which filled the truck before it set off from a unit in Pywell Road, Corby, on a four-day journey to the Red Cross in Belgrade.

Mr Vukovic, who worked until 3am yesterday and was back at the unit at 7am to help load the goods, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved and everyone who donated to the appeal.

“It’s been a fantastic effort.”

After seeing on the news the devastation caused by the worst floods to hit the region for a a century, he launched the appeal to help families left with nothing.

Working with the Serbian Embassy in London, he not only collected emergency aid in Corby but received donations from as far away as Manchester, Halifax and Newcastle.

Mr Vukovic, 28, whose late mother Jelica was born in the Former Yugoslavia and whose father Vido is the minister at the Serbian Orthodox Church in Corby, was supported by Echo Packaging in Corby which supplied the boxes for goods.

Jasna Trbojevic organised an aid collection at RS Components and worked tirelessly at the warehouse.

Quantum Print printed appeal posters free of charge.

Vesna O’Boyle and Tanja Celebicanin contacted Asda in Corby and were granted permission to hold a collection of goods at the store on Sunday.

Vesna, of Honiton Gardens in the town, said: “People were tremendous. We collected 100 kilos of food, 170 litres of bottled water and £115 in donations.

“We want to thank the store and especially its community colleague Tricia Oliver, for all their support.

“The appeal has been a real community effort. Everyone has been marvelous.”

Vesna and Tanja were helped at the store by Nikolina Tovilovic, Svetlana Sabadi, Becky Luecke, Nilkolina Bosnic and Lola Celebicanin, who is aged 12.

A fundraising dance at the Serbian Church Hall, in Rockingham Road, Corby, on Sunday, raised £2,747 for the emergency appeal fund for the Balkans.

“It was supported by Nev Celebicanin of Club 2000 on the Exeter estate in Corby.

Mr Vukovic said: “It’s been non-stop for 10 days but it has been worth it.

“We are very grateful for all the donations and help.”