By Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Membership 

Thank you to everyone who has donated via till, text, online and via Member Rewards to the Co-op Foundation to help raise £1m* for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Our joint efforts are supporting those who have no food, no shelter and no idea what the future holds. 

No-one could pick up a newspaper or hear the news without failing to be moved by their plight. 18 million people are projected to be affected by the escalating conflict in Ukraine, with 11 million people – over 1/4 of the population in Ukraine – needing to flee their homes since the conflict began. 

A total of £260m has been raised in one month for the appeal. DEC has combined with major charities in and around Ukraine, as well as surrounding countries to help in a range of ways: 

  • 6,000 volunteers have been recruited in the 280 local Red Cross branches
  • 12,000 people have been trained in first aid 
  • 90,000 food parcels have been provided for people on the move and food and necessities to 7,000 people who sought shelter at metro stations in Kyiv
  • CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) are running ‘collective centres’ which provide child-friendly space where children can play sport and do arts and crafts
  • Training over 200 psychologists in Romania in emergency psychosocial support 
  • Providing Medical Rescue teams for refugees – 450 in Poland alone 
  • Protecting young women and girls from trafficking and sexual exploitation 

We’re continuing to support the DEC appeal until 30 April and we can all help by making a donation in store, online, by texting COOP to 70150** or via donating Member Rewards in the Co-op app or on the Co-op website. Member Rewards donated will be directed through the Co-op Foundation and they’ll pledge the value of all donations to DEC. 

More ways to help

Community is more important than ever. Let’s stand in solidarity and show the power of co-operation. Together, local communities, Co-op members, colleagues and customers can join people around the world to offer support. 

Co-operate, our online community centre, shares how to help people affected by the situation in Ukraine. From fundraising to supporting refugees or taking part in peaceful protests.

How to deal with anxiety around the war in Ukraine

We know that war, violence, and political uncertainty can cause stress, anxiety, and other responses, whether or not you are directly affected by the situation. Our national charity partners, Mind, have shared tips on how to look after your own mental wellbeing at this time.

You can speak to Lifeworks confidentially and at any time, 24/7, by calling 0800 069 8854 (UK) or 0044 141 846 1586 (abroad). You can also visit the Lifeworks website for more support. 

Lifeworks have also opened a Crisis Support Line for anyone in the community (Co-op employee or not), who is in need of some emotional support. The Crisis Support Line is open 24/7 and can be reached at 0800 088 5339 (UK) or 1800 817 227 (Ireland). Please share with loved ones, friends and communities, so they can access free professional emotional support and/or referral to community resources. 

You can also find further support during this challenging and emotional time in these resources, which are available in English, Ukrainian and Russian. 

* This includes a match donation of £100,000 from Co-op and a £70,000 donation from Co-op’s partner, The One Foundation, £50,000 of which is funded by the donations from sales of Co-op bottled water.  

**All text donations are to the value of £10 plus standard network charge.