Two men from the Selby area have been risking their lives ferrying life-saving equipment to war-torn Ukraine.
Stuart Davison, from Hambleton, near Selby, and Mitch Mitchell from Eggborough, have so far made the overland trek to Ukraine three times and plan their next venture later in January.
And they have received the full backing of Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams as well as support from the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
Stuart Davison, a truck driver from Hambleton, is literally the ‘driving force’ behind the endeavour. He’s put £7000 of his own savings into paying for diesel for the three van trips he and his colleague Mitch have made across Europe with humanitarian aid.
Their boss has given them the time off to travel, the AA has given them free breakdown cover for their trips, Courier Exchange helps them with pick-up points, they’ve had free hotel accommodation in Belgium and Berlin and ARC Signage in Selby donated stickers for their van. The rest they do themselves.
Selby MP Nigel Adams said: ”I am happy to help them. I have a Ukrainian refugee living with us at home and we are just about to house another family of six so I am very keen to assist.”
Stuart has passed on to Mr Adams a letter of appeal from a Ukrainian Army captain asking the British Government for help with humanitarian aid as well as military defence items.
And the Ukrainian Embassy in London has asked for help with generators as Kyiv’s energy system is a primary target.
They have delivered aid to orphanages where children keep warm by candles in temperatures of -24 degrees. And they have witnessed people living with no homes, no power, no heating, no food and thousands of displaced youngsters taking what shelter they can.
“It is awful to see them suffering. Every time I leave I just cry, it breaks my heart. They desperately need our help,” said Stuart.
He and Mitch’s next venture is planned for 28 January – and they need cash, small generators, medical and sanitary products, dried food, warm clothes, blankets, quilts and, especially, candles – whatever they can source.
They are taking a horse box on their next trip and plan to spend an extra few days helping transport injured horses.
Burn village, near Selby, heard about their efforts and has collected lots of warm clothing, sleeping bags, dried food and other aid.