Entrepreneur launches bid to bring lifeline to Ukraine

Corkers owner Ross Taylor and cousin Craig Taylor

Ross Taylor (right) and his cousin Craig (left) have helped launched the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group with several drop off points for donated items already established. - Credit: Ukraine Lifeline

An entrepreneur who has teamed up with businesses and residents across Cambridgeshire says “we have got to do something to help” Ukraine. 

Ross Taylor, CEO of Buffaload Logistics, has launched ‘Ukraine Lifeline’ alongside cousin Craig to help those affected by the Russian invasion. 

In a video posted on the group’s Facebook page, Ross said: "We have friends in Ukraine and people who work with us whose families are there and feel we have got to do something to help.  

"We don't know what to do to help, but we can only do what is within our means.” 

The idea came about on February 28 when Ross, Craig and eight others including residents and businessmen wanted to play their part in supporting Ukraine. 

A website and social media page were then created, and word quickly spread about the group. 

“We’ve been inundated with messages from people wanting to help and set up their own drop-off points,” said Craig. 

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“We’ve got businesses, individuals and baby groups behind it. People in London are asking to set up groups, so it has already spread outside of the region.” 

Several drop off points, including in Ely, Isleham, Burwell and Wisbech, have been set up where a range of items can be dropped off ready for distribution.   

This includes Oliver Cromwell's House in Ely, where items can be dropped off by 4pm on Saturday, March 5 with a further drop off being organised.

Those items ranging from gloves to sleeping bags, are then taken to Corkers, which Ross owns, in Pymoor where they will be driven to Ukraine. 

Damian Wawrzyniak of House of Feasts in Peterborough

Damian Wawrzyniak, of House of Feasts in Peterborough, has offered his support to the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group and is one of several drop-off points for donated items. - Credit: House of Feasts

Drop off point in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

A drop-off and collection point for the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group has been set up in Wisbech. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

Charlie Cooper, of FNL Pallet Services Ltd in Wisbech, is one of the businesses that is helping the group. 

“We hope to collect as many things as we can to help make a real difference,” he said. 

Further details on the logistics of the operation, particularly when arriving at the Ukrainian border, are still being confirmed. 

Ukraine Lifeline group launched in Cambridgeshire

Corkers owner Ross Taylor alongside cousin Craig, residents and businessmen have helped launch 'Ukraine Lifeline', which aims to distribute donated items in Cambridgeshire to Ukrainians in need. - Credit: Ukraine Lifeline

Donated items in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

Items have already been dropped off at Alpine Retail Park in Wisbech for the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group to distribute. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

Volunteers in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

Volunteer Rudi Jennings and Daisy Cooper are helping the 'Ukraine Lifeline' efforts at the Wisbech drop-off and collection points. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

But what is for certain is that the group will carry on helping Ukraine for however long is needed. 

“We want to make it efficient and big enough that we can make a real difference to a lot of people over there,” he added. 

“We’ve all got jobs and businesses alongside this, but we want to help them as we know they would do the same for us.”   

Donated items in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

Items have already been dropped off at Alpine Retail Park in Wisbech for the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group to distribute. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

Donated items in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

Items have already been dropped off at Alpine Retail Park in Wisbech for the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group to distribute. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

Donated items in Wisbech for Ukraine Lifeline

Items have already been dropped off at Alpine Retail Park in Wisbech for the 'Ukraine Lifeline' group to distribute. - Credit: Supplied/Charlie Cooper

A vigil is also being held on St Mary's Green in Ely for Ukraine.

A prayer will be read by Rev Chris Hill of St Mary's Church at the vigil, which begins at 7pm on March 10.

For more information on how to set up your own drop-off point and a full list of items, visit: https://www.ukrainelifeline.com/ or go to their Facebook page.