Urgent aid on way to Ukraine after mammoth effort from Bristol volunteers
Vital aid is en route to Ukraine after volunteers in Bristol answered a call for help from the war-torn country.
Forty-six deliveries of 7,000 boxes of clothing and equipment has been sent from a Bedminster warehouse since the start of the conflict a year ago. Amongst the donations have been more than a hundred generators to areas without power.
Two large vans packed with supplies left the city today (26 February) and are due to arrive at the Romanian border with Ukraine on Tuesday.
The charity 'From Bristol With Love for Ukraine' has an on-going fund-raising campaign and is in near-daily contact with those in need to target the right supplies for them.
Razvan Constantinescu, who set up the charity 10 years ago with his wife Ileana, initially to help orphans in their native Romania, started sending help to Ukraine just three days after the Russian invasion.
A year on and over 60 tons of humanitarian aid including food, first aid, medical equipment, camping items, blankets and toiletries have left Bristol.
"Bristolians being Bristolians, have clubbed together and they've proved themselves once again," said Razvan. "They've flocked in and helped us with donations, with money - those who could not donate came in to help us pack.
"The support is not dimming, in fact, it's getting stronger and stronger the more people realise the atrocities going on in Ukraine."
Debbie Noble volunteers in between her job in the British Army. She added: "Everyone really has the same aim, just trying to make a difference and give hope to the people of Ukraine. I think once you come here, you can't fail to be moved, and you just want to do more."
Four drivers will share the work in getting the vans to their destination. One of them, Johhny Kam, is making his third trip.
"It's really uplifting to know what we're doing - all of us - has a real meaning for all of them (Ukrainians)," he said. "Every time I go, I feel uplifted, giving people something to elevate the pressures of life."