TJ drivers provide vital assistance to Ukraine Appeal

Two TJ Transport drivers have recently returned from Ukraine, following a mission to deliver much-need supplies to refugees that have been forced to flee their homes.

Drivers Mark Stanley and Peter Hunt felt so strongly about the crisis that they started reaching out to organisations such as the UN as well as various Embassy members to find out what they could do to help.

Mark said:

“We wanted to help, but didn’t know how to go about it. I’m an armed forces veteran, I served with the Tier 2 Special Forces for many years and having seen it from the other side, I wanted to do something to help from this side.” 

The pair eventually got in touch with Stella’s Voice, a charity that provides support to refugees in areas of conflict as well as victims of human trafficking. The charity was looking for drivers to drive vans of donated supplies to Poland, so Mark and Peter signed up.

They set off on the four-day round trip, taking turns at the wheel to remain rested. Upon arrival in Poland, they met a contact from the Slovak Mission, an organisation that provides hostel accommodation on the Polish/Ukrainian border.

The hostel houses refugees coming out of Ukraine whilst their longer-term accommodation in Europe is being secured. It provides the refugees with a much-needed rest stop before they embark on their journey to their next destination. The hostel can house up to 80 people and is in constant need of supplies. 

Mark and Peter’s van contained sleeping bags, medical supplies, baby supplies, hygiene products and dental products donated by local dentist, Jonathan Krum of St Cuthbert’s Dental Surgery, Winchester. The supplies from all the vans were gathered and loaded into an artic lorry and transported across the border to Ukraine.

TJ has supported their two drivers every step of the way. They donated £1,000 to the Go Fund Me page Mark set up, which helped hugely with the fuel costs, and other colleagues in the office also helped them prepare for the trip. 

TJ Transport Coordinator, Jenny Spratt, completed all the customs paperwork as she has experience in this area, and this enabled Mark and Peter to cross the borders quickly and easily.

When they got home, Mark received a large monetary donation towards the Appeal and to make sure this money made it into the right hands, he and his son John flew back to Poland at their own expense two weeks later. They returned to the Slovak Mission,  with whom Mark had formed a bond during their first trip, to deliver the donation and provide further assistance.

The money was used to purchase more canned and dried food, first aid kits and other medical supplies which were sent across to the Ukrainian troops.

Mark said:

“Going out there really brings home the severity and enormity of the situation those people are in. I saw it many times when I was in the Armed Forces, so whatever I can do to help, I will. John plans to join the army next year and so when I said I wanted to return to Poland, he was keen to join me.”

Find out more about the Ukraine Appeal and the ways in which you can help…

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Luke Haskell
12 July 2022