Ukraine: Berkhamsted man leads van convoy to his Polish hometown with supplies for refugees

A group of businesses and community organisations came together to raise £18,761 for supplies for Ukraine

By Olivia Preston
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 9:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 9:56 am

A man from Berkhamsted has teamed up with local businesses and volunteers to send a convoy of vans with over five tonnes of donations to Poland.

Stas Strach, who is from Ustrón, Poland, was inspired to act after hearing news from his cousin that the town was struggling to cope with the large numbers of refugees arriving.

Last week, over 400 boxes were packed full of essential supplies by volunteers at the Sacred Heart Church and Northchurch Social Centre.

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The volunteer drivers with Urszula Broda Gawelek, co-ordinator for the Ukrainian refugees in Ustron.

Thanks to local businesses and organisations, including Bisley Office Equipment, Jelmac Property Group, Think Recruitment, Tring Lions Club, The Diamond Trust, Glencar Construction, Home and Abroad and Attic Storage, enough sponsorship was raised to transport five vans of essentials to Poland.

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The donation page raised £18,761 which will be donated to the Ukrainian refugee aid administration in Ustrón.

The town is 200 miles from the Ukrainian border and has taken in over 1,500 refugees from Ukraine.

Stas and the group of local dads who drove the vans to Poland arrived home in the early hours of yesterday morning (April 12) after setting off on Saturday.

He said: "The local refugee coordinators are working on getting the children into classrooms and restarting their education. These children will rebuild Ukraine from the ashes and whatever little we have provided will not be forgotten.”

The van drivers were Stas Strach, Andrew Green, Marco Pierleoni, Mark Eastham, Nick Filleul, Jeremy Harrison, Mark Harrison, Peter Thomson, Simon Thomas and Martin Jolly.

Half a van of food supplies was sent to a local food bank.