Wax for Ukraine from Braintree

I decided some time ago that for me to help Ukraine I would offer a job to one of our Ukrainian refugees. Larisa appeared at my door and she agreed to do some cleaning for me weekly and we are now good friends.


I initially became involved with providing Ukrainian people wax blocks and candles after I discovered online that they were making ‘trench candles’ for their defenders at the frontline. These candles were crudely made using rolled up cardboard in a tin can, soaked in paraffin then topped up with wax. These were first used in the Second World War to provide a means of heating water and giving light for soldiers. I found that soy, paraffin and any other type of commonly used candle wax was ideal for this purpose. I realised at this point, that Larisa was already saving her money and sending small parcels to Ukraine. This gave me an idea.


CommunityAd Exclusive - Wax for Ukraine from Braintree

Completed trench candles

I asked Braintree Beekeepers to donate some of their beeswax. My intention was to produce a better candle for the households that had no power, therefore no light during the night. Currently areas in Ukraine only have two hours of power a day.


The response was immediate! I had many offers of significant amounts of wax, which were converted into these items. I have made over 350 wax briquettes for trench candles and around 60 beeswax pillar candles. These have already been transported by Larisa. Along with the odds and sods of paraffin and soy wax in total there has been 113 kilos of wax and candles sent to Ukraine in January. There was a cost for transport and I managed to raise the money by selling some of the candles. Larisa has managed to get herself several cleaning jobs and she keeps back money to pay for the transport.


People have given generously, often above my candle asking price. The local butcher in Witham generously paid me over the price for 18 small novelty candles which he then sold on making over double the money. He then donated it to our cause. The local Women’s Institute was also generous, they bought my candles following a small talk and donated money.


I have found it to be a very uplifting experience where our beekeepers and townspeople have given the Ukrainians some aid, even on this small scale we do hope it may help.


Following on from our efforts with wax, I accepted the donation of a portable generator from the Chairman of Braintree Beekeepers and this has now been sent over. My Ukrainian friend has now saved enough to buy another two small generators. We are currently knitting special socks for people with broken legs, have sent wheelchairs and Zimmer frames, and children’s toys.


To donate or volunteer please contact [email protected]. Find out more about the Braintree Beekeepers via their website.

By Joyce Wells

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