Former refugee collecting and distributing medical supplies to support Ukraine

Circle Health Group Ukraine Supplies

Alida with suppliers who have been helping Circle's efforts to support Ukraine. - Credit: Circle Health Group

A hospital worker who came to the UK as a refugee has lent her support to Ukraine by collecting and distributing medical supplies for the war-torn country.

Welwyn Garden City’s Alida Biba came England in 1998 with her parents, when the family was forced to flee Albania following a civil war.

Now a clinical category manager for Circle Health Group, Alida is proud to be able to support Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the nation.

“We came to this country with nothing, none of us spoke English and had to rebuild our lives from scratch,” she said.

“We were given the chance of a better life and the welcome my family and I received was outstanding.

“Everything I currently have is because I was given a chance by this country. Being able to support the Ukrainian people during this difficult time gives me an immense sense of pride.”

Alida has been at the heart of Circle’s efforts to send urgently needed medical supplies to hospitals in the east of Ukraine.

Circle Health Group Ukraine Supplies

The first lorry of medical supplies preparing to leave for Ukraine. - Credit: Circle Health Group

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So far, five lorries have made the hazardous two-day journey across the country to reach the hospitals, providing clinical products such as syringes, specialist dressings for trauma wounds and brand-new ventilators.

Alida was full of praise for the team that have been helping her collect and distribute the supplies, saying: “As a team, we have been using our connections across the healthcare sector to get as many donations as possible.

“The response from suppliers has been fantastic and so far, we have managed to get a lot of the key items our colleagues in Ukraine have said they need desperately.

“Seeing the lorries leaving is very emotional and talking to the Ukrainian drivers and hearing about how happy they are is incredibly powerful.

“The willingness of people to donate is very moving and reminds me of how caring people were to me when I came to the UK.

“We cannot heal invisible scars and we cannot take away the shocking things that people have seen, but we can do something to help people who are desperately in need and give them a chance support them build a future.”