A SOLIHULL charity is fund-raising for its third trip to Ukraine to offer medical aid and mental health support.
Healing Hands Network (HHN) was established in 1996 as the Balkan war in Bosnia ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace agreement
The charity consist of professional Complementary Therapists who work voluntarily with those who may be suffering after war and its aftermath.
Sue Stretton Director of HHN said: “We began by collecting donations of essential humanitarian items.
“Initially we were taking these to a centre who sorted and packed them ready for transporting them across to the Polish/Ukraine border sometimes in much needed ambulances.
“Then the lightbulb went ping! Why don’t we buy an ambulance of our own, fill it with all these items and drive it over ourselves?
“We would know exactly what was being transported, who it was being delivered to and where it was being distributed to without any chance of corruption or loss of items along the way.”
The charity bought an old, decommissioned London Ambulance along with a Land Rover.
Sue added: “We managed to fill both vehicles with donations and medical and surgical equipment and items some of which were given to us by Medical Aid Ukraine West Midlands branch headed up by Dr Tania Hebert, who is herself Ukrainian and still has family living there.
“We set off in convoy from Stratford along with two more ambulances and an Isuzu
“We met our Ukrainian partners StaySafeua early Sunday morning to hand over the 5 vehicles all loaded to the gunnels.”
StaySafeua are Ukrainian volunteers who sort and distribute humanitarian and medical aid across the whole of Ukraine where it is needed most.
They go right to the front line and to the military to make sure people have what they need.
The charity took their second trip to Ukraine in November once again loaded with medical and humanitarian aid.
Sue added: “We fundraise for everything including the £800 fuel costs for each vehicle, plus insurances, channel crossings, the cost keeps growing but the venture is so worthwhile.
“When we hand over to the Ukrainian team they are so grateful.
“We receive wonderful photos of the aid being distributed, the ambulance in use and being used to help evacuations from occupied and bombed out villages and towns.”
They are fund-raising for their third trip to Ukraine in early 2023.
Visit https://gofund.me/bdd77fec to donate.