Retired South Warwickshire businessmen driving ambulances to Poland to help Ukrainians - The Leamington Observer

Retired South Warwickshire businessmen driving ambulances to Poland to help Ukrainians

Leamington Editorial 29th Mar, 2022   0

RETIRED businessmen from South Warwickshire are preparing to drive two ambulances stocked with medical supplies to Poland to help Ukrainians in their war-torn homeland.

Former property developers and friends Alf Rajkowski and Mark Pritchard Jeffs have set up the charity Ambulance Aid.

The charity’s mission is to deliver medical supplies where most urgently needed using ex-NHS ambulances, which cost between £4,000 and £7,000, driven by volunteers.

The businessmen have bought the first ambulances with their own money and will be setting off next week to drive them to the Polish-Ukrainian border – a journey of some 1,300 miles.




They will deliver them to an ambulance service at the border before the vehicles, stocked with the desperately-needed medical supplies, are taken across the border into Ukraine.

The pair will then fly back to the UK where they hope to buy more ambulances with donations to the charity, which was set up with the help of contacts at Snitterfield Tennis Club.


They are working with a team of volunteers including Tania Hebert, a Ukrainian-born GP based at Warwick Hospital.

She is the West Midlands lead for Medical Aid Ukraine (MAU), a UK network of Ukrainian and other doctors.

MAU – a collaboration of the charities British Ukrainian Aid and Ukrainian Medical Association in UK – is stocking the ambulances with donated medical supplies.

MAU is cooperating with the Ministry of Health in Ukraine, and has been successful, in contrast with other larger charity organisations, in getting aid out to distant Ukrainian cities in the east, south and north of the war-ravaged country.

Alf is assisting Tania with safe and secure storage where donated medical supplies can be sorted by volunteers.

Donations are being sought from health bodies in South Warwickshire – the likes of NHS trusts, GP surgeries, care homes, dental surgeries, healthcare companies, veterinary practices and pharmacies.

Tania and MAU have arranged for a letter of authorisation for the ambulances from the Ukrainian Embassy, which will allow the vital medical equipment to reach those in urgent need.

Alf, from Hampton Lucy, told The Observer: “Mark and myself are both retired and have decided to pool our efforts together to help with the situation in Ukraine.

“We purchased an ambulance each with our personal funds, and are appealing for donations to help us purchase another ambulance.

“We’ll be setting off next Wednesday and hope to return to the UK on Friday.

“I have close family ties to Poland so it was important to me to help in any way I could.

“We’re appealing for any medical donations from health care settings in Warwickshire, and community donations are also welcome.

“We’ve set up a Just Giving page to help us raise the money we need.

“We’re also encouraging shops and community facilities to set up “medical banks”, which are secure collection points in villages and towns in South Warwickshire, and we will pick up any donations.”

Directors of Ambulance Aid include local professionals giving their time free of charge to provide oversight.

Any remaining funds will be donated to Medical Aid Ukraine – part of British Ukrainian Aid.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ambulance-aid-ukraine to donate.

Visit www.facebook.com/medicalaidukraine for more information about Medical Aid Ukraine.

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