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