Cards 2 Confetti’s Nick O’Brien off to Ukraine with much-needed items

Card indie and his fellow RNLI volunteers call for more donated goods to fill two Transits


Independent greeting card retailer Nick O’Brien and five pals are preparing to drive two Transit vans full of much-needed items to close to the Ukraine border.

Nick, owner of Cards 2 Confetti in Brixham, will then hand all the goods over to Star Life Foundation, a well-connected charity which will organise the distribution to those in need, including in hard-to-reach locations in the war-torn country.

As well as being an independent card retailer, for the last 20 years Nick has been a member of the Torbay RNLI Lifeboat crew, and his pals from the volunteer service have joined him to launch a Ukraine relief campaign, to collect much-needed new and unused goods for refugees and displaced people.

Above: Nick juggles his time between Cards 2 Confetti and being a RNLI Lifeboats volunteer
Above: Nick juggles his time between Cards 2 Confetti and being a RNLI Lifeboats volunteer

“We couldn’t just sit back and watch the devastation inflicted on the people of Ukraine, we felt we just had to do something,” Nick told PG Buzz about how he and his fellow RNLI volunteers felt about the atrocities caused by the war in Ukraine.

“Having taken advice from Star Line as to what is needed, we’ve been asking for new and unused goods, comprising first aid kits, Milton sterilising tablets, feminine hygiene products, baby nappies and wipes, sleeping bags, blankets, general hygiene products (toothpaste/brush, soap, shampoo, loo rolls etc), children’s medicines, pre-mixed baby milk, baby bottles, anti-bac wipes, tinned meat, energy/protein bars, batteries, dog and cat food, Thermos flasks, protein bars, kids’ colouring pens, and books,” Nick said.

Above: Nick O’Brien in Lifeboat volunteer mode
Above: Nick O’Brien in Lifeboat volunteer mode

While the campaign has resulted in a lot of donations from those in his local vicinity, Nick is now urging those in the greeting card and allied sectors to also get involved.

“If anyone can supply any goods, that would be brilliant, but please be quick as we need them by 21 April,” Nick added, with a special call out for children’s products, including colouring books and pens.

Deliveries should be made to Torbay Lifeboat Crew, Ukrainian Relief, Bow Grange, Littlehempston, Totnes, TQ9 6NQ. 

Alternatively, cash donations can be made by clicking here, which are also appreciated as the funds will enable further goods to be purchased, as well as contributing to fuel costs of the trip.

Nick and his five crew mates will be sharing the driving of the vans to Medyka in Poland, a key crossing point and centre for supplying and supporting Ukrainian refugees.

Above: Star Life volunteers handing donated goods to Ukrainian refugees
Above: Star Life volunteers handing donated goods to people in Ukraine

“Making sure the goods reach those who need them was paramount, hence the reason we are working the Star Life Foundation, which has 67 offices throughout Ukraine and support from over 6,000 volunteers,” said Nick.

Established in 2010 by the co-owners of Ukraine’s largest insurance broker Starlife №1, since the war started Star Life has collected well over £2million in donations, bought more than a million items of ammunition, and facilitated the evacuation of over 900 refugees. Every day it prepares 6,000-plus meals and makes deliveries throughout Ukraine, including in the east of the country which is currently difficult to reach due to the hostilities.

Nick can be contacted on

Top: Nick O’Brien and his fellow Lifeboat volunteers are working to help those in Ukraine

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