Inside Ukraine Lifeline: Co-founder 'brought to tears' by generous public

Inside Ukraine Lifeline warehouse in Pymoor

Ross Taylor (right) helping out inside Ukraine Lifeline's main warehouse in Pymoor. - Credit: Terry Harris

One of the founders of Ukraine Lifeline says the level of demand they have received at home and abroad has “brought tears to our eyes”. 

Around £2.3m worth of items have now been donated as lorries continue to head for Ukraine from the group’s main warehouse in Pymoor. 

It is a turnout that has made Ross Taylor, one of those behind the idea of Ukraine Lifeline, feel emotional by. 

“I never realised the generosity we would get,” he said.  

“We’ve had ladies who have given their pension money to buy things for this charity. 

Inside Ukraine Lifeline warehouse in Pymoor

Volunteers have worked day and night to arrange items ahead of distribution to Ukraine. - Credit: Terry Harris

“It has brought tears to our eyes and the time they have given to this is phenomenal.” 

Mr Taylor has ranked the work undertaken by around 150 volunteers as “the most incredibly professional operation in my whole logistics career”

And within a 26-year career, he believes the attraction Ukraine Lifeline has received so far is down to maintaining high standards. 

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“People have cancelled holidays, dropped their whole lives, for this,” said Mr Taylor. 

Inside Ukraine Lifeline warehouse in Pymoor

Volunteers have worked day and night to arrange items ahead of distribution to Ukraine. - Credit: Terry Harris

“I think people have come to us because of our professionalism and our honesty, and it’s sustainable.” 

Around seven to eight lorries were due to head out to the Poland en route to Ukraine, during what is a three to four-day journey. 

Some drivers, from Buffaload Logistics that Mr Taylor is CEO, have donated their time for free to deliver full lorry loads across mainland Europe. 

Inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse in Pymoor

Various items have been donated to Ukraine Lifeline, from tinned foods to baby products. - Credit: Terry Harris

Inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse in Pymoor

Various items have been donated to Ukraine Lifeline, from tinned foods to baby products. - Credit: Terry Harris

“Some companies have sponsored the full trucks and a lot of drivers have descendants from Ukraine,” Mr Taylor said. 

“It’s cost around £25,000 to get lorries to Poland and to keep consistency, we are having to pay to get the lorries through the border.” 

Once lorries arrive and return from Ukraine, refugees have been driven by mini bus into Poland. 

Ukraine holds a soft spot for Mr Taylor, having visited the country in 2005. 

Inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse in Pymoor

A view of Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse from above shows the scale of the operation. - Credit: Terry Harris

Inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse in Pymoor

Items being wheeled away inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse. - Credit: Terry Harris

He has even had requests for armoured vests from Ukrainians staying to fight, emphasising the popularity of Ukraine Lifeline from families to servicemen. 

“The money is a very important part as we have got to keep the balance of goods coming in and delivered,” Mr Taylor added. 

Inside Ukraine Lifeline's warehouse in Pymoor

Various items have been donated to Ukraine Lifeline, from tinned foods to baby products. - Credit: Terry Harris

Inside Ukraine Lifeline warehouse in Pymoor

Various items have been donated to Ukraine Lifeline, from tinned foods to baby products. - Credit: Terry Harris

“It has been stressful. 

“But with the feedback from Ukrainian people who we’ve been in contact with and the lifeline it has created, it has made us feel we cannot stop.” 

To donate, visit: https://www.ukrainelifeline.com/wheretodonate.