Weʼre raising £4,000 to help us with humanitarian aid which we will deliver to an arranged drop off point on the boarder to ensure aid gets to where it is needed.
- 18 days to go
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Finally here’s the newsletter on our trip, the exhaustion has well and truly struck!
I first mentioned to Benny that making a trip to Poland was something I wanted to do last Monday, come Wednesday he said to me “you can’t do it alone, you’ll either not come back or not get there safely and are you sure you can even pull this together?” My answer to it all was, I’m doing it anyway.
That was then final, Benny had worked out he was coming with me. Suddenly I had found myself a driver and the best part was one of my biggest supports wanted to do it with me. even though he is coming into one of his busiest times of year with his first love… farming.
That night I contacted an antique dealer on Instagram who I had been put in touch with through Kerrie. This dealer was making the trip also and had a connection with another antique dealer who is British but lives in Poland. This man had links within the community that we’re providing ambulances and vital supplies to the front line, schools accommodating the education of refugee children and transporting and housing refugee families once they cross into Poland.
I set up our just giving page that night, sent messages to friends and family and got in contact with numerous organisers of donation centres, put a post on Instagram, Facebook and the Nextdoor app and got the ball rolling.
We needed to hire a large trailer, the hire of this was donated through Our IT, the land rover was donated through the farm, the fuel was donated by many and suddenly tons of people were getting in touch wanting to support our mission.
I spoke about our trip with Swindon radio 105.5 Thursday night thinking we would be leaving Saturday evening; Benny’s dad kindly drove all the way to Bridport to collect 1 ton off boxed donations and we had numerous friends and strangers turn up from Thursday - Friday dropping off humanitarian aid for us to take.
Thursday we still hadn’t booked our tickets for the crossing neither had we chosen a route. Due to P&O then coming to a standstill, tickets were selling fast, and our chosen time was then unavailable. We had no option but to book our crossing from Essex to Holland which meant we left on Friday, late afternoon.
This meant whatever we had prepared, and whatever donations we had, if this was going to happen, we just had to pack up and go and so, that’s exactly what we did.
Benny did all the driving so I am so grateful for that, after 15 hours and 3 fuel stops we arrived in Poland had a quick catch up with the others and went straight to sleep around midnight for a 6am wake up Sunday morning.
Sunday was action mode, unloading and sorting everything into piles. Medical all in one pile which filled a whole Luton van, this was dropped to the local ambulance base and loaded straight onto ambulances which then headed off to Kharkiv to deliver aid and once emptied were bringing back people who hadn’t been able to escape.
Another pile was bedding & blankets, coats, soaps, toothbrushes, (400 to be exact) toothpaste, baby milk formula, complan for the mothers who are under so much stress they’re unable to produce milk for their babies, sanitary products, energy biscuits and so much more.
Pet food was another thing, we are animal mad and so this was another supply which we absolutely couldn’t miss off. There are so many animals that people have either had to leave behind or are staying with in the Ukraine because they give their owners reason to wake up in the morning.
Some individuals that have either not been able to safely get out or refuse to leave their home of Ukraine, are feeding other people’s pets and animals, either their neighbours, friends or strangers have left behind. Then there’s animals that have been parted from their families due to fleeing with fear when hearing air raids or bombs.
The pet food we took was dropped off to a shelter which is housing rescued animals from the Ukraine so they can be cared for, and the shelter can keep rescuing.
Then we met with some incredible individuals, one lady was half Russian half Ukrainian and hearing first hand her experience and heartache was enough to make you feel numb with pain.
There are thousands of refugees almost in every community within Poland, one man has 50 refugees from multiple families living at his house, the good in people has been shown in so many ways throughout our trip. From leaving England and receiving everyone’s generosity and contributions, to loving words and support and even customs when crossing the border, it’s been out of this world.
We stopped in Holland at a store so we could fill any last room in our trailer and had a €1,000 bill, our travel card was playing up and the store manager told us to get back on the road and he’d call us once we were back in the UK to sort the payment, I got a call yesterday which was him saying they’re donating the lot so we won’t be receiving a bill. Thank you Bas Bos, store manager at Hema store Veenendaal Holland.
We have met some incredible people from the start of this idea to the actual reality playing out when we left Friday. This continues through to when we arrived back home Monday morning. We couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for our family and friends stepping in last minute to look after our animals and pets and keeping an eye on the farm here.
There is so much to share but I don’t know how to share each detail and give it the justice it deserves.
All in all, we have so far raised over £6,000 to help with aid for the Ukraine which is incredible. The just giving page will remain open until 31st March and I will then share with you all what has been done with all your generosity and how it has helped.
If we can do the trip again Benny and I both agree, we would do it in a heartbeat. An absolutely harrowing experience but one that has shown us the true compassion of so many wonderful people in this world. We are absolutely determined to keep helping during this time of complete tragedy.
I must also thank Benny, he enabled me to make this possible. I have no idea how he got out of the tractor Friday and straight into the car for 15+ hours of driving. Then back into the car for another 15+ hours of driving, out of the car again and into the tractor. like he never left. Thanks to him for all the strength he’s given me, there were tears along the way at times of sadness when thinking about what is going on. However, there’s no one else I’d have rather had as the other half of my team to get **** done!
Now we are home safe and sound, and we are so lucky to have a place called home that we can return to, be safe in and not live in fear whilst at.
Thank you all for helping us make this possible, you were with us every step of the way and look what has been achieved in just 1 weekend. ❤️
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- 3 months ago
Elouise Boyce3 months ago
After a last minute travel change, we have just got on the road to start the first part of our journey to Harwich Essex. Lots of emotions right now, we have been running on adrenaline since we decided we were making this trip, all the well wishes and donations have helped us to keep going and get us to this point. Although we have been fortune enough to make an idea come to life, we are doing this for all of you who have equally given time, energy, money and physical goods. For now, please know, you are all very much part of this journey.
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Apr 7, 2022
You're doing great work xx
Apr 1, 2022
Harry & Sarah
Mar 28, 2022
Mar 27, 2022
Very well done 👏
Mar 27, 2022
You are an inspiration to us all - well done!
Mar 25, 2022
Well done on getting the trip organised and completed
Mar 25, 2022
It’s heart breaking to hear the personal stories coming out of Ukraine but heart warming to see the brilliant work you and others are doing to help. Please keep up the amazing work you are doing x
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