We always knew we had some of the most compassionate newspaper readers in the country – but wow! You’ve really stepped up this time. As of last night, as the paper was going to press, the £12,000 appeal stood at... an amazing £11,591.

That’s just a handful of donations away from hitting the target only a week after we launched the Energise Ukraine appeal with Tony Souter.

Tony said: “The response to the campaign has been astonishing.

“No sooner had last week’s edition been published, donations started dropping on to the JustGiving webpage and it hasn’t let up.

“It looks like we’re likely to hit our target of £12,000 very shortly.

“That sum buys a lot of generators. We’ve already purchased 15 units which will be shipped to Kyiv in a week or two with further consignments to follow.

“However, seeing the magnificent response to this appeal, we think perhaps we could raise the bar just a little and aim for a new target of £15,000.

“I think, with the paper’s reach and the generosity of the readers, we can make it.

“Plainly, more funding translates into more generators helping more Ukrainian families.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their extraordinary generosity – you’ve been just magnificent!”

We will keep the totaliser below at its original target for this week, just to underline the brilliant response from readers.

Next week it will show the revised £15,000 target – and let’s do all we can top keep that red line blasting upwards!

What’s the appeal all about? 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.

Tony 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 2.7kw and 3kw generators with a run time of seven hours for a ‘trade’ price of £501, which includes VAT.

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

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has 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 we expect new Russian strikes. That’s why the generators have become as important as armour to protect the population.”

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