'People still need our help' - Haulage firm's appeal for Ukraine
- Credit: Waites and Stones
People behind a mission to provide medical essentials to Ukrainians on the front line are calling on celebrities and pharmaceutical companies to back their cause.
Waites and Stones Ltd in Swaffham is appealing for specialised medical equipment such as defibrillators, tourniquets, trauma kits and burn kits to help soldiers and civilians in need in Ukraine.
Scott Stones, director, has been moved by their plight and their resilience in the face of violence in the war-town country, and is determined to do what he can to help.
The firm had teamed up with Chris Riches Transport in Thetford on a mercy mission in March to transport two-lorry loads of donations to Poland.
And Mr Stones has since made separate trips to Lviv and Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, with his articulated lorry full of aid to deliver vital supplies to those on the ground.
He returned to Norfolk last week and is planning his fourth trip to help those in need, after hearing about the 'desperate' need for medical items.
He said: “We all take our normal every day lives for granted and this shows just how easily it can be snatched from you.
"But the strength of character and resilience that these people are showing, for whom this is now their new normal, has astounded me.
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"I just hope that should I ever encounter any sort of adversity like this I would have an ounce of their courage."
Working with Norfolk Polonia, Sunflower Relief and the Hampshire Ukrainian Community, Waites and Stones is now appealing to local and national businesses for donations of food, medical supplies and survival equipment such as dark coloured sleeping bags, tents and gas stoves.
In a Facebook post, the firm said: "This isn’t going away, these people still need our help.
"These are people, just like you and I, and while we are able to we will keep going where we’re told our help is needed the most."
Zoe Waites, director of Waites and Stones, shared Mr Stones' recent experience in Kyiv.
She said after arriving in the city in the late afternoon he was unable to unload aid from his lorry before curfew and was taken to a safe place overnight and looked after by Ukrainians.
"They also sent back sweets and chocolate for his children", she added.
"He couldn’t believe the generosity of people who have lost so much but who are still willing to give to people who are helping them."
Natalka Auker, from Downham Market, who is among those supporting the company in its appeal, is also calling on local celebrities and Norfolk politicians to support the cause.
She said: "Scott is taking an enormous risk making these journeys and he already has many people and local businesses behind him but we now need to make this even bigger.
"People need to be aware of how dire this ongoing crisis is and that it isn't going away any time soon."
Local events are also being held in the coming weeks to support the cause by raising funds for aid and to help cover the costs of the trip, including a silent night disco and bingo at The Garden House on May 27, a hog roast, auction and raffle at The Market Cross Café in Swaffham on May 20.
A signed Norwich City Football shirt, tickets to visit High Lodge, and various vouchers for meals, beauty treatments, and an offer for a personalised portrait of a pet have been donated for the latter event.
People interested in donating prizes can contact the company on email@example.com or 07824505670.
Those wanting to donate items to the appeal can drop them off at the customer services desk in the Atrium, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, and The Garden House, Pembroke Road, Norwich.
To donate money towards the cause visit 'Fuel for Ukraine' on GoFund Me.
The EDP also launched an appeal for the people of Ukraine. You can donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/edp-ukraine