UK DONATIONS "BECAME A JOY FOR MANY FAMILIES IN UKRAINE"
Contributed by PA Media Press Centres
09:24 - 30 Mar 2022


London, 30 March 2022 – Amid dwindling aid for Ukraine, the UK-based charity Hope and Aid Direct (HaAD) has appealed to the British public to keep donating. They have recently delivered 20 tonnes of aid which included baby boxes, nappies and hygiene items despite Brexit red tape. These were met with joy by many families in the Ternopil region where 59 babies were born in the last month.

“We were already in touch with our local NGO partner, Integra based on the Romania-Ukraine border. We matched the needs list for Integra with the aid available from the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club and the Scottish Pre-loved Baby Box team who launched appeals for aid to support the families affected” said Trustee Steve Walsh who drove the aid truck with fellow volunteer Denis Little.

With the help of volunteers from the baby box appeal, they loaded the truck with around 20 tonnes of aid which included around 500 baby boxes, five pallets of nappies and five pallets of hygiene items. Each baby box contained nappies, baby wipes, clothes, lotion, a soft toy and more. The box itself could be used as a cot, as the base is a mattress.

“Your effort became a joy for many families in Ukraine” said Integra Romania President Adrian Dan. After delivery to Integra, the aid, was then reloaded onto a Ukrainian truck for direct distribution to families in Ternopil about 250km Eastward in Ukraine. Fifty-nine babies were born in the region in the last month.

This was not an easy trip for HaAD as they only managed to board the ship from Hull to Rotterdam on their third attempt. The previous two attempts had required them to arrange further Brexit documentation in order for the truck to leave the UK and enter the EU. The pair experienced further complications on their return to Britain, witnessing P&O Ferries’ lay off of staff when arriving at Dover.

They were also surprised that they still had to pay €2.50 per litre for diesel fuel in Germany. Due to the emerging crisis in Ukraine, road tolls, road tax and even driving hours regulations had been waived in many European countries for vehicles carrying humanitarian aid.

Their trip had several highlights too. Mr Walsh said they were impressed by the generosity of the businesses and people they met along the way:

“On route to Glasgow we pulled into Cairn Lodge Services. Not only did they refuse the overnight parking charge for the truck, they also would not accept payment for our food and drinks.

And when we pulled into Hull, the truck brakes locked on. Motus DAF in Hull pulled out all the stops to get us repaired overnight and back on route. They gave us a very generous discount on both the parts and their normal labour rate.”

When they were on the Ukrainian border, they also met the Founder of the NGO Refugee 4 Refugees, Omar Alshakal whom they had worked with in Greece in 2020. As a Syrian refugee himself, Omar founded an NGO to help others arriving on the Greek shores. He had arrived in Ukraine to help refugees only a few days after the Russian invasion.

The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, estimates as many as 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced, which is almost a quarter of Ukraine’s population.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian Deputy Health Minister announced that the level of humanitarian assistance has been partially reduced for the past week.

Hope and Aid Direct has called upon people to keep donating. On Friday, 1 April, they are leaving for Slovakia with three trucks to deliver aid.

Recently, they facilitated the delivery of wound dressings urgently requested by the State of Emergency Department of Ukraine and helped to transport 400 medical beds.

They are also supporting the cost of a warehouse in western Ukraine, belonging to their local partner (Slovakia) that are providing essential supplies directly to internally displaced people in Ukraine.

People can donate and find out more at https://www.hopeandaiddirect.org.uk/Appeal/ukraine

ENDS//

Notes to Editors

About Hope and Aid Direct (HaAD), https://www.hopeandaiddirect.org.uk

HaAD was founded in 1999 as a Balkans-focused humanitarian aid charity. Since 2015, HaAD’s focus has been the refugee crisis across Europe.

The charity has obtained, driven and donated aid at values well exceeding several hundred million pounds. Financial support has been provided to a number of worthy projects, and new radar and navigation equipment was provided to a search and rescue RIB in Lesvos.

All their work is undertaken by unpaid volunteers and they have no paid staff.

Media enquiries

For further information and any other requests please contact

Steve Walsh, [email protected] | +44 7768 210299

Roger Wilson, [email protected] | +44 7553 815445