A lorry packed full of supplies for a community in Ukraine left Keynsham today.
Driving the truck is Luke Power-Hippisley, of Bristol haulage firm Tudor Services.
Luke, who lives in Keynsham, aims to arrive in Suceava in Romania next Wednesday when the goods will be unloaded and repacked onto a Ukrainian truck to take everything to its destination of Chernivtsi, a city in the south-west of the war-torn country.
Luke is unable to cross the border into Ukraine himself as it is deemed too dangerous with the Russians targeting aid trucks.
The fledgling charity Hope for Ukraine, based at Carmel City Church in Brislington, has organised the aid mission, with people generously donating items at hubs in and around Keynsham. The charity has established links with a community leader in Chernivtsi who will receive and distribute the vital supplies.
The lorry set off from I J McGill Transport Ltd’s site in Avon Mill Lane in Keynsham this morning, displaying signs showing that it is carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The haulage firm has been providing storage space for donations.
Before he left, Luke said: “A big thank you to everyone who has kindly donated to fill this trailer, I J McGill Transport Ltd for the warehouse space and thanks to Stena Line UK to Holland for donating the ferry crossing and Whites Transport Services Ltd for teaming up with us and supplying the trailer.”
A chance meeting earlier this month between Luke and the chair of Hope for Ukraine’s trustees Steve Lewis set the wheels in motion for him to get involved.
Luke’s mum Tina Hippisley, from Kingswood, was among those waving him off this morning and she played a key role in the logistics. She approached the Romanian church which meets at Hanham Methodist Church and spoke to a priest who has a link with another in Suceava. In an extraordinary twist, the priest in Suceava knew the one in Chernivtsi, and Tina’s Romanian lodger Radu was able to help arrange where in Suceava the load could be transhipped to another lorry for its onward journey.
Kirsty Gooder, one of the trustees, who was also there to wave the lorry off today, said: “It has been amazing to see how people have come together to help.”
The charity thanks all the volunteers at the hubs in Keynsham, Willsbridge and Brislington and everyone who has donated.
More donations are needed for the next delivery. The Keynsham drop-off points are St John’s Church office on weekdays from 10am to noon; and Community at 67 in Queens Road on Saturdays from 10am to noon. Lime Landscaping at Jarretts Garden Centre at Willsbridge can take donations from 10am to 2pm on Mondays and Fridays.
If you would like to help in any way, including making a financial donation, call 07933 712584 and find out more about the charity and what is needed at hopeforukraine.org.uk/
What’s on board?
The first shipment totals around 10.5 tonnes of aid including:
- 8 pallets of first aid kits/contents
- 6 pallets of wet wipes
- 7 pallets of toiletries
- 265 sleep pods
- 10 pallets of nappies
- 2 pallets of baby clothes & equipment
- 1 pallet of adult clothing
- 4 pallets of bedding/towels
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