Northumberland councillors help fund Ukraine mercy mission

Councillors have stepped in to support a fleet of coaches travelling to Ukraine to deliver essential supplies.

By Joshua Wright
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 7:39 pm
Councillor Catherine Seymour, council leader Glen Sanderson and councillors Colin Horncastle and Jeff Watson.
Councillor Catherine Seymour, council leader Glen Sanderson and councillors Colin Horncastle and Jeff Watson.

Council Leader Glen Sanderson, along with Cabinet colleagues Catherine Seymour, Colin Horncastle, Jeff Watson and Wojciech Ploszaj, have each donated £1,000 from their small schemes fund to Morpeth-based coach holiday operator Gardiners Holidays.The firm is taking coaches over to the Ukraine border to deliver much-needed supplies to refugees, including food and medical supplies.They will then be using the empty coaches to transport as many refugees from the border area across to settlement camps set up in Poland and other European countries.

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More than three million Ukrainians have fled the war-torn country since Russia’s invasion, with the vast majority (more than two million) fleeing to Poland, which has been praised for welcoming Ukrainian refugees into its borders since the war began.

However, with the humanitarian crisis putting aid services under pressure, donations and supplies are vital to ensure those fleeing Ukraine have access to basic supplies that are essential to maintaining good health and wellbeing.Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “As councillors we’ve been left as upset as everyone else by the terrible situation in Ukraine and like people across the county we’re doing what we can to offer help and support.“This is a great effort by a local company to both deliver supplies and help transport refugees and we were only too happy to provide some financial support from our small scheme funds.”Adrian Smith from Gardiners said: “We'll be transporting women, children and their pets who have lost everything and a lot of them are left with the clothes on their back and a couple of carrier bags.“We’ll be ensuring everyone we take gets food and drink for the journey and activities for the children, and depending where the refugees are resettled, we’ll look to make a number of journeys.“We’re so grateful to everyone who has supported us, donations large and small are appreciated, and this council contribution will help support the logistics of the trip – from ferry to fuel costs.”If you wish to donate towards the supply mission, visit https://gofund.me/8dda9cfe.