The Tavistock branch of the Salvation Army are collecting for their Ukraine appeal today.

Pamela Smith, Christine Wood and Marilyn Trigger of the Salvation Army in Tavistock will be in the Pannier Market with collection buckets until 5pm. All money they collect will go solely to the charity’s current Ukraine Appeal. They are also giving out free peace motif cards to people, designed by local artist Matthew Kavanagh.

Pamela said: ‘We just want to let the people of Tavistock know that we are collecting money in the Pannier Market all day today for the Ukranian Appeal. I lived and worked in Russia for nine years so this war and its effects are utterly devastating to both myself and my friends in Russia.’

The Salvation Army are collecting for this appeal all around the United Kingdom today. The charity has programmes and personnel in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Romania, Moldova and other European countries - all of whom were able to offer practical assistance as soon as the violence first escalated last week. Some rushed to the Ukranian border to hand out urgent provisions, whilst others made arrangements to offer support to citizens of Ukraine who were seeking shelter in neighbouring countries. Salvation Army officers in the Ukraine have reported that officers are sleeping in shelters alongside the communities they serve and doing their best to offer help and support. Their officers in Poland are currently directing efforts and income and supplies they have so far received.

Pamela lived in Russia for nine years, moving to the country with her husband and daughter in 1992 to help with humanitarian aid in prisons and hospitals and fight hunger. Fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian, Pamela serves as a well-versed and experienced officer to spearhead Tavistock’s efforts in raising for this cause. Pamela spent three years in Moscow and six in Saint Petersburg before returning to the UK in 2001. She has worked for the Salvation Army for over 31 years, all around the UK in locations including London, Wiltshire and now Devon and Cornwall.

Pamela said: ‘Every Friday and Saturday we’re at the Pannier Market. We do a range of different things such as helping the homeless and people in need within our local community. We also work closely with other charities too, particularly food banks and do whatever we can to support efforts happening in the town. We’re most grateful to market reeve Duane Carruthers who allows us to occupy the space.’

Pamela also worked closely with local specialist cancer nurse Isabel Williams at Christmas to run a toy recycling project, whereby unused toys, games, books, stationery and other similar items were donated to help families who were struggling provide gifts for children and other loved ones during the festive period.

If you would like to help and/or contribute to this appeal but can’t make it down to the Pannier Market today, visit the website and follow the relevant links.