Tue. May 17th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Island businessman’s project to aid Ukraine

2 min read

An Island businessman has organised a van of vital supplies to reach the Ukraine – and his next project is to get 23 ambulances to the war-torn country.

John Caulcutt, from Yarmouth, decided to take action after saying he felt let down by the Government’s reaction to the disaster. He said: “I started to put the project together because I felt our government was not doing enough, but I wanted to send the message to the Ukrainians that our people do care.

“I was supported by like-minded people on the Island and in Hampshire who wanted to help these refugees who are suffering.

“I was told of an 11-year-old boy who had walked to the border on his own with no family to support him. How is he supposed to apply online for someone to help him reach the UK.

“People are getting out of Ukraine but, even if they do have mobile phones, those batteries went flat days or weeks ago. They have no way of contacting people.

“I am in a lucky position because my business supplies amenity kits to airline companies and patient packs to the NHS.

“So we donated 10,000 hygiene kits containing: toothpaste and a toothbrush, razor, shaving cream, comb, shampoo and soap. Another 80,000 face masks and 5,000 bottles of hand sanitiser.

“I’ve been dealing directly with people I know in Ukraine. It’s about giving these people what they need, not what we think they need. People who are fleeing want to freshen themselves up when they reach safety.

“We were given the use of a bus and, when it reached the first border, the team of volunteers had to move on because there was bombing just five miles away. Instead, they visited three other different borders to drop off the supplies and were able to hand these hygiene kits directly to the refugees.

“I’m working through a Ukrainian distribution agency in Medyka and they tell me they now want women’s kits as well as men’s to include sanitary towels.

“Now, we have been donated 23 ambulances by one of the hospital trusts in the North West to take over there. The drive takes 23 hours, so each ambulance needs two drivers.

“I had the initial 23 drivers, but will now need to get another 23 volunteers to help us. I will be having a debrief this week after consulting Denys Drach, who is a Ukrainian helping on the Polish side of the Ukrainian border, but we will be moving on our convoy as soon as possible.”

Anyone who would like to help should contact John on john@belmorepark.co.uk.