As I write, 10.30pm on Thursday, our campaign to directly help the brave territorial forces of Ukraine has raised £12,604. With Blake & Bull's matching funds of £2,500 and another £500 of free shipping this is £15,604. I'm a bit emotional about it.
This is more than I thought possible but I've decided it's not enough. We are so close to the most efficient way to help. Our new target is £22,500 in cash donations for a total of £25,000 with our matching funds.
The most critical need that Daria has identified is a vehicle for her contacts in the territorial forces to use for transport and medical evacuation.
The territorial forces are civilians with minimal training who are reinforcing the regular Ukrainian Army. They are not as effective at soldiering so play, rightly, second fiddle to the regular forces when it comes to their equipment. This man, pictured in my last journal post, is Darias friend of 25 years. A history graduate in remission from lymphoma, father of two and a civil servant until a few weeks ago. He now finds himself in the woods around Kyiv with a uniform, a rifle and a few days training. We want to make sure that if he, or the soldiers alongside him, need it there is a vehicle available to take them swiftly to safety and medical attention.
So the plan is to buy a van, fill it full of useful kit and drive it out to Ukraine. We'll make sure its ready for its arduous journey and the life it will lead on arrival. Daria has volunteered to drive it herself but will need a co-driver. I'm hopeful we can can find a volunteer for what is a long trip to the Poland/Ukraine border. If we find we can buy more items than that vehicle can safely carry we will send one of our Blake & Bull vans in convoy with the additional items.
If you can help us in this endeavour, or in any other way please donate or get in touch to email@example.com. Daria is coordinating all sorts of offers of help from our wonderful community. From accommodation for refugees to battlefield medical training (by Zoom!)from an NHS surgeon. Thank you everyone.