'The gratitude and smiles is all the thanks we need'.

These are the emotional words from Ronnie Goodberry, 62, who has driven donations over to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.

With the help of his friend Duane Harris, 55, the Woodley residents have helped bring joy to dozens of families who have had to flee their homes in Ukraine.

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In March 2022, Ronnie was quick to fill two lorries full of donations to be shipped to Ukraine. Ronnie and Duane arrived in Poland on Thursday, April 21, with boxes full of medical supplies, medices and three wheelchairs, donated by kind-hearted residents in Woodley.

The families staying in the convent couldn't contain their happiness when they were gifted handmade croched love hearts from Barkham Hookers Charity Group.

Reading Chronicle:

But what touched Ronnie and Duane more was when they donated a girl a wheelchair, after she was bed bound for more than one month.

Ronnie said: "When we saw the little girl and her mum we had a translator there, they asked whether we have a spare wheelchair. We explained we had three so take your choice. 

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"She then carried the child and placed her on the wheelchair. There were tears and that did it for me.

"Can you magine no fresh air and being stuck in a room for a month? She can now get out and about again! The mum just had to walkaway and wipe her tears away. If you're a parent you'd know the feeling of seing a child happy. 

The gratitude and smiles from the children as the mums are watching on, that means the most." 

Ronnie was inspired to help after seeing a Ukrainian girl sat amongst the rubble of her town on TV.

Reading Chronicle:

The next day he began campaigning on Facebook using contacts he’d built after setting up a Covid volunteer support group.

Anyone wishing to donate should avoid adult clothing and focus on medical supplies, toiletries, nappies, baby clothes and dried food.