Enistic goes to Ukraine, taking 8 pallets of medical aid and toiletries and bringing 16 refugees back to safety.
Four weeks ago, the Eden Aiding Refugees (https://www.edenaid.org/) made their first trip to Ukraine. Last week Darryl Mattocks, founder of Enistic, joined them and repeated this trip taking 4 palettes of sanitary products and 4 pallets of medical equipment to the border of Ukraine and bringing 16 refugees back to safety.
Eden were contacted by a group of Canadian paramedics who asked if they could urgently bring the medical supplies stored at warehouses in the Lake District to meet them at the Ukraine border. The challenge was to get these supplies to a rendezvous point on the Ukraine border at a specific time to meet an ambulance the paramedics had purchased in Italy, which would be driven up the day before. Once at the border, the ambulance needed to be restocked with the medical equipment and supplies brought from the UK and then driven straight over to Kyiv.
A mutual contact of Eden reached out to Darryl for help. Darryl and three friends dropped everything and cleared their diaries for the trip. Two Oxford schools, Headington School and Abingdon School, kindly lent the team their minibuses and the race was on to make the meeting with the paramedics on time.
The team started their journey in Oxford on Saturday 16th April and drove to Newcastle via the warehouse in Penrith. From Newcastle, they took the overnight ferry to Amsterdam and then drove through Netherlands, Germany and Poland until they reached the Ukraine border in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Darryl Mattocks, Troels Henriksen, Mark Ryhorski and Andy Pitts – the 4 people who made the trip to the Ukraine border.
At the border, they arrived just in time and delivered all the medical supplies to the paramedics and a further 4 pallets of toiletries and sanitary supplies which had been rapidly assembled by Eden before they set off. The Canadian paramedics collected the supplies and drove them to Kyiv.
Not wanting to return empty-handed, Darryl and the 3 other volunteers then travelled to a Ukrainian refugee’s camp where they collected 16 refugees, 2 dogs and a cat. Of the 16 refugees, 12 were brought to the UK and 4 were dropped in Dusseldorf, Germany. They are all now in sponsor homes in those countries and are settling in well, which is remarkable considering what they have been through. The dogs and cat are also doing well and are significantly happier now that they are not all sharing the same minibus.
Enistic hope to continue to work with Eden with the aim of delivering further medical supplies and aid to Ukraine. In the past week, Eden have sent 20 tonnes of flour to bakeries near Kyiv, and another trip to deliver yet more aid is currently underway.
On his return, Darryl commented:
“What a roller coaster of emotions. We wanted to make a difference to as many people as we could, and being able to help like this was a privilege. Thanks to all of my clients who were so understanding when it came to rescheduling meetings at the last minute and to Abingdon and Headington Schools for their support. These people have been through so much and have so little – their entire lives were literally packed into one or two small bags. The absence of men at any of the refugee centers, and all that this implies, was particularly chilling”.