They were part of a 22 vehicle convoy, the second venture for the initiative Pickups for Peace. The aim of the initiative was to supply over 100 pickup trucks and 4 x 4’s to the front line by June 2023.
The first 43 donated trucks are already in the Ukraine and the next 40 are due to be delivered over later this month, so the target of 100 vehicles will be surpassed in May and the P4P team have now doubled their target to 200.
The vehicles are packed with donated materials such as spare tyres, drones, first aid kits, spades, chainsaws, generators, old phones, jump leads and night vision equipment.
There is particular demand for the spades and chainsaws used to construct foxholes and trenches for the frontline soldiers.
The initiative has been widely supported by the agricultural community as the two founders, Scotsman Mark Laird and Englishman Vince Gillingham, have a history of working in farming and food processing both in the UK and eastern Europe.
Farmers and agricultural businesses from Scotland, England and Wales have donated vehicles, aid or cash and those that have driven their own vehicles over to the Ukraine have had a very powerful experience.
Joe and David said the experience was very humbling. It is quite a physical drive over 1400 miles through northern Europe to western Ukraine in just 48 hours.
However delivering the trucks at the army base and meeting soldiers involved in the defence of their country, their families and their freedom is very uplifting when you see how grateful they are for the support.
It is not just the fact the “Ukrainian Defenders”, as they call themselves, are receiving the trucks and aid but they are so appreciative that other Europeans are supporting them in spirit too.
Although we were in a safe area if western Ukraine, the horrible reality of the war is present when you engage with the Ukrainians and hear their own personal experiences of the violence that they, or their friends and family, have had to face.
We visited the expanding military cemetery in Lviv & seeing graves newly dug graves and the accompanying photographs of the victims that were not even there when the first convoy arrived only four weeks earlier, only increased the sense of how real this invasion is.
That feeling has made both Joe and David determined to raise enough money to take out another vehicle each in the next convoy.
They have already secured one pick up and are trying to raise the money for the second one. The fact that this area has many agricultural holdings and large Estates they are hopeful that the local agricultural community will be prepared to donate vehicles, money or aid to support the Pickups for Peace movement.
The pick ups that are being driven over do not have to be in great condition, the just need to have a valid MOT & be mechanically sound. The vehicles not being donated are costing the charity about £3k each.
In the Ukraine they are camouflaged and then taken to the front where they are used to move the troops and their equipment or used as ambulances to take wounded away from the front. Their speed & versatility being vital over such a long front line.
For further information or donations please contact us on the following :
David 07793 595401
Joe. 07973 518032