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1,300-mile journey to Ukrainian border with 20 tonnes of refugee aid

A dedicated team of volunteers journeyed from Blackpool to Poland with trucks filled with warm clothes, non-perishable food and hygiene products for Ukrainian people forced to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Local members of the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid charity will take the Channel Tunnel to France, then drive an additional 1,000 miles through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Poland before finally landing at the Ukraine border.

There they will meet with charity workers handing out vital aid to the many Ukrainian people fleeing the country as the war with Russia rages on.

Chris Webb, who is a CWUHA Trustee led the convoy of volunteers making the three-day trip, said:

“As a charity, our purpose has always been delivering aid in times of crisis. With the 27 years of experience, we have, we felt we had the skills to do just that, as well as the capacity to raise funds and ensure that every penny raised will go on aid.
"We had an incredibly long few days drivingm becuas of issues we had getting out of the country. We were up from 8am until 7pm driving in shifts, covering hundreds of miles a day. Once we got there on Wednesday, early evening, it immediately made it all worthwhile. We saw tens of volunteers from different organisations. The Polish army were helping. We were given such a warm welcome because they knew how far we’d travelled."
“With their help we were able to unload the vehicles in a few hours, all 20 tonnes, and got the meet some of the volunteers working there, not only unloading aid but helping the refugees living there. We first unloaded in the warehouse where the refugees were living, being given food and aid, then we went to a bigger warehouse where we unloaded the 40ft vechile we had.”
"We saw quite a few refugees in the big hall. They were incredibly grateful for the aid we had brought the the support of the Polish people. Some were looking to stay in Poland, some were looking at moving on to other countrys including the UK."
"A lot of them had left Ukraine with the clothes on their back and had to rely on the generosity of others, and you could see they were overwhelmed with the support they were given.”

Chris added,

“I felt exhausted but also emotional. Seeing firsthand what you see on the TV and how it has impacted real people drive home that it’s not just images on a TV or a post on Facebook. These are real people. Every second was worthwhile, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of local people donating aid and Royal Mail giving us the vehicles and paying for the fuel. We're incredibly grateful for everyone that has helped.”

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