Team BRIT driver Paul Fullick has completed his latest aid run to Ukraine, this time accompanied by a friend of the team.
Paul was joined by Daytona Motorsport CEO Charles Graham on his latest trip. Paul is chair of Ukraine Sunflower Aid, a community group set up to coordinate aid runs into Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict. This latest aid run will mean they have delivered almost 600 tonnes of aid into Poland and Ukraine.
Paul and his colleagues work closely with Scottish-based charity ‘Siobhan’s Trust’, along with private and public sector organisations, to identify what is needed on the frontline and in residential areas, before arranging aid runs with the critical goods required.
At Team BRIT’s recent sponsor karting event, held at Daytona Sandown Park, Charles asked Paul if he could join him on his latest trip. Charles had travelled to Poland last year to assist with aid efforts on the border, but unfortunately his trailer became unhinged from his truck, colliding with the central reservation. Charles was still able to deliver half of his aid, and was assisted by a German police officer who took the remaining aid to a yard some 60 minutes’ drive from his home – a journey he carried out three times to store the aid safely for Charles. Paul was then able to collect and deliver it for him on his next trip.
This time, Paul and Charles successfully completed the 2500+ mile return journey into Ukraine, taking two tonnes of aid in two sprinter vans. They transported cargo from an NHS hospital that is no longer required in the UK but desperately needed in Ukraine, which was taken to the National Transport Hotel in Kyiv. They also took goods to an orphanage in Kyiv that Paul has supported on multiple trips, and took vital equipment to the frontline of the conflict in Kherson, working in partnership with Siobhan’s Trust. Whilst with the charity, they spent time cooking pizza and serving to local people in the area.
With a strict 11pm curfew in place across the whole of Ukraine, Paul and Charles planned the trip with military precision to ensure they could safely deliver the aid where it was needed.
Paul explains; “We started Ukraine Sunflower Aid because we all felt we needed to do something to help what is a horrific situation for so many people.
“We’ve now delivered close to 600 tonnes of aid over numerous trips, supported by so many fantastic people and organisations, and we’ll keep doing this as long as we continue to receive funding to keep us going.
“Winter is an incredibly difficult time for everyone out in Ukraine, the temperatures have already plummeted and there are so many people and services trying to operate without power, so the people living there are suffering. we hope that the aid we’ve delivered to the hospital, orphanage and frontline will go some way to making life easier for the people living through the conflict.
“It was fantastic having Charles along for the trip this time – he wanted to do something to help and it was a real team effort, covering over 2500 miles and delivering aid to key locations.”
Charles Graham said: “I’m grateful to Paul for organising this aid run and allowing me to join and assist. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish all of my own aid attempt last year, so have been keen to finish what I started.
“Seeing what people are living through in Ukraine is very difficult, and a stark reminder of the impact this conflict is having on thousands of people. We may not see or hear as much about what is going on in UK media anymore, but this is very real, and very much ongoing for the people going through this.
“Our efforts are only small in the scale of the challenge here, but I am pleased to have been able to do something and will certainly be seeking to help again in the future. It’s very difficult to do nothing when you have seen the reality of life for the people out there.”
More than £85,000 has already been donated to Ukraine Sunflower Aid. To donate and assist with future aid run efforts, visit the justgiving page here