Father of three to transport emergency supplies to Ukraine in a borrowed van


father-of-three will travel from the UK to the Polish border with war-torn Ukraine to deliver emergency supplies in a van borrowed from his antique dealer dad.

Frank Matthews, from Greenwich, south-east London, set up a JustGiving page – Lviv and Let Live – just over a week ago with the aim of raising £5,000.

So far, more than £50,000 has been donated for items such as specialist frontline trauma kits and portable generators.

The 49-year-old broker, who grew up in Norfolk, said he wanted to do something to help as he watched “in horror” as Russia invaded Ukraine.

Broker Frank Matthews, 49, from Greenwich, southeast London, will drive emergency supplies across the Ukrainian-Polish border in a van borrowed from his antique dealer father. (Frank Matthews/ PA)

He said a company had offered the use of a second van, with him and three friends leaving on Monday.

“I haven’t slept much this week due to all the adrenaline, but the trip is coming together and hopefully it will be the first of many,” Mr Matthews said.

“I am liaising with a Ukrainian team on protocol and logistics for the transfer but, so far, everything is going according to plan. I just wish I could personally thank everyone who has helped so far.

“This is an ongoing humanitarian crisis and it is only through people donating that we can make a difference.”

Mr Matthews said he was working with suppliers to ‘obtain top quality medical kits’ and had ‘secured major trauma dressings, combat tourniquets, stethoscopes, field resuscitators and surgical trauma instruments “.

He said: “All are vital in the treatment of frontline soldiers, but also innocent civilians maimed or injured in this brutal war.

“With hospitals overwhelmed, it is vital that these mobile kits are made available.”

Mr Matthews said 30 boxes of supplies donated by University of East Anglia students and staff will also be transported.

“When the idea came up, my parents were completely behind me and offered to use their van without hesitation,” he said.

“It’s usually used to lug antiques around Norfolk, but now it’s already jam-packed with supplies.

“When we arrive at the border, we will hand over the medical supplies before locally purchasing two more vans of essential humanitarian supplies to make the most of our time, effort and wonderful donations.”

Mr Matthews said he and his friends would provide transport for anyone who needed it at the border.

To donate, see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/francis-matthews

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