We are teaming up with Energise Ukraine with a new-year campaign with a difference.

Our campaigns normally directly benefit local people.

This time, it will benefit the families of many people living locally – but who are living 1,600 miles away in Ukraine.

Energise Ukraine are raising funds to buy electric generators to send to families in various parts of Ukraine who, because of the hostilities, are without the essentials we take for granted – water, light, heat.

Appeal organiser Tony Souter, from Alton, said: “The people in Ukraine face a harsh winter with temperatures falling to minus 20ºC.

“There is a massive demand for generators in all parts of Ukraine.

“Missile, drone and artillery attacks have destroyed critical infrastructure, hospitals, houses and apartments – Ukrainians are resilient but living on the edge.

“A reliable source of power from a generator could be a lifesaver.”

A UK manufacturer is supporting the campaign by supplying a powerful 4KW generator with a run time of seven hours for a ‘trade’ price of £942, which includes VAT.

Deliveries will be made to trusted non-governmental organisations in Ukraine which will distribute them to those in greatest need.

The London-based Support Ukraine Co-ordination Hub (http://www.supportukraine.london/) will advise our campaign on transport and distribution.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing a conference designed to co-ordinate humanitarian aid – and ensure his country secures the right mix of generators, transformers and equipment for the restoration of high-voltage networks – said his country needed an additional €800 million to survive the winter and €1.5 billion to restore the long-term damage to the energy grid.

He vowed: “We will do everything to counter the blackout and the energy terror.

“Most of our power plants are damaged or destroyed by the bombings.

“Every day our engineers have to disconnect millions of Ukrainians for these repairs.

“Currently there are 12 million without power – and every day we expect new Russian strikes. That’s why the generators have become as important as armour to protect the population.”

Tony hopes local people will help by pledging a donation to the JustGiving page that has been set up for the appeal.

He said: “I get the impression many people are also angry and frustrated by what has been going on and are grateful to have a conduit and giving to a site like ours can be quite a solace. It can feel they are actually doing something.

“It’s an appeal by ordinary people asking other ordinary people to help us out – there’s no government intervention at our end or in Ukraine.

“There is no minimum donation – people can pledge as little as they want and as much as they want.

“We will continue the appeal until we have reached the £12,000 target.”

Energy experts say the key task for Ukraine is not to avoid blackouts but to ensure that each day all neighbourhoods are receiving at least three hours of electricity – something that requires difficult distribution of the grid.

To achieve that they need generators – lots of them.

Please support our appeal if you can.

Donate to the JustGiving webpage at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/energiseukraine