The final installment of a batch of 300 disposable barbecues made their way over to Ukraine last week.

Welcome stores took the disposable barbecues off sale last summer as the UK faced some of the worst droughts seen in decades, following suit with other major retailers such as Lidl, M&S, Tesco and Morrisons.

Disposable barbeques are a huge risk of causing wildfires. They are devastating for ground nesting birds and other animals, and the impact is felt for years. Plus, climate change also means hotter, drier periods are inevitable, and the risk of starting a deadly fire by taking a barbecue out into the woods increases.

These are just a couple of reasons why Welcome stores decided to permanently ban the sale of disposeable barbecues for the foreseeable future.

After taking them off sale, the disposable barbecues were stored and it didn’t take long before they were put to a more worthy cause.

New Forest for Ukraine was set up to help the war efforts in Ukraine and has since filled 100 trucks with aid, including 3,000 trauma kits, 150 generators and over 10,000 bandages.

The group was set up at the beginning of the conflict by a group of local volunteers that were committed to help in any way they could, by shipping donations directly to people they knew in Poland and Ukraine. They also offer support to refugees seeking shelter in the UK.

Our Brockenhurst store has been a drop-off point for donations for much of the time the group has been established, so we approached New Forest for Ukraine to ask if they could make use of the disposable barbecues – and the fantastic team of volunteers gratefully accepted!

All 300 disposable barbecues were soon on their way to Ukraine. They were then given to reservists who used them to heat their food for daily essential cooking.

John Stanton, Lead Co-Ordinator of the project, said: “We’ve been running for over a year now and we are very proud of what we have achieved – but we couldn’t do it without the kind support and donations from communities and organisations such as Welcome stores. We’d like to offer our thanks for the barbecue donation, our reservists have used them for cooking and are extremely grateful.”

There are still 21 drop-off sites operating across the New Forest. Head to their website to find out more about donations and how you can help the cause: