Kettering pupils sell their own toys and empty piggy banks to help Ukraine

An incredible effort from the Brambleside Primary School community

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 6:00 am

Thousands of essential items will arrive in war-torn Ukraine today (March 29) thanks to the generosity of those at a Kettering primary school.

Pupils at Brambleside Primary School in Cleveland Avenue asked to launch an urgent appeal to help those in the eastern European nation, which is under attack from Russia and suffering a humanitarian crisis.

Just six days into the appeal they were overwhelmed with donations of first aid, toiletries, sanitary products and more after specific requests by contacts in two Ukrainian city councils and the Army Association in Ternopol.

Poppy and Oakley Lewis spent their own pocket money to help the appeal.

And some children went one step further – giving away their own pennies and toys to help those less fortunate than them.

Poppy and Oakley Lewis asked their mum if they could spend their pocket money to buy essential items for the Ukraine appeal.

They filled their shopping trolley with sanitary products and delivered them to the school the next day.

Leo Blyth, aged seven, wanted to help after hearing about the war on the radio. He sold some of his favourite toys to collect enough money to buy 50 deodorants for the appeal.

Leo Blyth sold his toys to help the appeal.

Leo’s mum, Hannah, said: “We’re so proud of him. He has such a big heart. We felt it was important to support Leo’s ideas to help others in Ukraine.”

Brambleside mum Melina Casciani was recently given money for her birthday. But, instead of treating herself, she used the funds to buy essential items for the Ukraine appeal. She arrived at the school with a large suitcase packed with toiletries for those in need.

Another parent, Hannah Reading, said: “We got involved as my children felt bad for everyone having to flee their homes. We talked about what they felt we would be most in need of, or relieved to receive, if it happened to us and then shopped for these items to donate.”

Brambleside Primary School headteacher Drew Brown said: “We are very pleased and proud that our children came up with the idea to make an effort to support families in Ukraine.

School staff ready to load the items.

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our school community with their donations of practical items that might bring some comfort to those who have lost so much. Thank you to everyone who offered their contributions.”

Pupils arranged the essential products into categories and boxed them up before staff sealed and loaded the boxes onto transport. The school teamed up with volunteers from the Northamptonshire Help for Ukraine group who took on responsibility for the safe transport of these essential products into Ukraine.

Sabine Bazaud, a group founder, said: “There was an overwhelming response from the Brambleside school community. They pulled together to collect, sort, pack and label the boxes. Many contributed to loading and preparing the lorry to leave too.

"Nothing seemed too much for this lovely team of staff, pupils and parents. We’re amazed by the amount of donations received and all of the help provided. Thank you Brambleside Primary School. We will ensure the Ukrainian people are aware of this wonderful help”.

Year 5 students pack the goods.

The lorry left Kettering on March 25 and arrived in Poland on March 27. It was due to arrive in Ukraine today.

To support Northamptonshire Help for Ukraine, visit