Nathalie and Jacek here from Travelling Basket Lifestyle Store, Edinburgh gearing up for round two on our humanitarian aid convoy. I finally managed to sit down and pull together some of the images from our first convoy, sorry it'\s taken me so long.
I know we all will have been shocked and shaken by the events in Ukraine and the military escalation that has forced millions of civilians to make the awful decision to flee or fight, something no one should ever have to confront.
As many of you know at Travelling Basket we work directly with artisans across Europe and have family and friends across Poland and other EU countries. As it will for many of you, this feels very close to home and a very real attack on our democracies, liberties, homes and places of work.
We put out a call for your help in spring of 2022 and your response was simply incredible. Together we achieved so much and I wish I could share with you all the smiles, tears, thanks and gratitude that we received when we delivered the items, food, electricity generators and medicine that you all helped to provide/ purchase.
Here's some of what you helped to make a difference on our first convoy.
1. Working with friends and local businesses, we drove a convoy of 4 vans and 2 trucks in March from Scotland to Ukraine carrying humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies donated by you all; you can still catch the saved stories documenting our convoy over on our Instagram.
2. Over £35,000 was raised through February and March to support groups on the ground by purchasing and delivering food and medical supplies. These food drops were delivered by us directly to crisis centres, schools, hostels and community centres set up across Poland for Ukrainian refugees and to Charities working on the border and in Ukraine. Watch the updates on our Instagram.
3. Since returning, we have continued to work with our partners to deliver industrial generators to centres and hospitals to provide much-needed power. Photographs on our Instagram stories.
Community Gymnasiums turned into shelters provided beds and basic access to food, water and sanitation. A local council worker volunteering at the shelter helped unload bedding and clothes for those arriving.
We received numerous donations of childrens car seats which were delivered along the border. Volunteer drivers were taking refugees to connecting trains or flights but had been unable to drive on EU roads without meeting safety requirements.
Damages to electricity infrastructure meant that shelters and hospitals had been cut off. Delivering generators had been a key aim to help restore independence for those teams working on the ground with mobile power to run heating, hospital equipment, provide hot water and sanitation etc.
Trading wholesale enabled us to purchase vast quantities of food by pallet. This drop included 10,000 portions of Goulash
Our driving, logistics and translation team at the Polish - Ukrainian border.
Many many more people were involved in this wonderful project and we'll be sharing more pictures and videos soon. Where any Ukrainian citizens were helping us we have concealed their identity. Please know that many brave and courageous men and women helped on this convoy, with logistics, organisation, accommodation, receiving, regional distribution and even driving our aid to the front line and to towns and villages cut off. We will not be sharing any pictures of these wonderful people.
Thank you to everyone who helped in any way possible on this project, we won't forget your help.
Nathalie, Jacek and our whole team on the convoy.