Ukraine war: Emsworth group Bridge to Unity reaches Ukraine-Poland border to give £25,000 of supplies to refugees
‘THERE’S no mistaking what these people have gone through.’
Members of Bridge for Unity have been keeping The News updated on their venture as they set off from the UK in the early hours of Saturday (March 5) morning and reaching their destination on Sunday.
The team of five were able to unload goods including bandages, first aid kits, sleeping bags, torches, batteries, power banks, phones and chargers to the Zintegrowana Służba Ratownicza (ZSR) – a Polish group which provides emergency medical care in crisis situations.
Today the team, made up of founder Matt Simmons, Libby Rose, Hannah Jarvis, Don O’Leary and Mike Petty, thanked all their supporters who donated crowdfunded more than £23,000.
They said: ‘It is fair to say we’ve all cried a lot of tears this morning. Tears of relief, joy and thanks to every single person who has donated to our Just Giving page over the last week.
‘The four of us have been working 20 hour days on this for the majority of the week and to see it all come together has been overwhelming to say the least.
‘Zintegrowana Służba Ratownicza you are the most incredible group of people we’ve ever had the joy of working with. You’re selfless, heroic and everything in between.
‘We are going to do everything we can to support the wonderful work that you you’re doing to help the people of Ukraine and this is just the beginning.
‘We have some important meetings next week to discuss our next aid mission to Ukraine which again will involve the wonderful ZSR and we are going to keep you all informed.
‘We are nothing without your support.’
Bridge to Unity was originally established by veteran Matt Simmonds last year as Ems4Afghans to support Afghan refugees, but was rebranded this year to help during the Ukraine war.
While at the Ukraine border, member Libby Rose reported seeing 2,500 refugees.
She said: ‘From the moment you arrive there’s no mistaking what these people have gone through and are currently going through.’
Now the team have set their sights on raising £33,000 in order to buy an ambulance for the ZSR.
Alexandra Kenchington, 37, a doctor at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, who volunteers with Bridge To Unity, said: ‘Our next plan is to buy an ambulance for them and deliver that, hopefully in the next few weeks, so that they can continue to do their work.
‘If we crowdfund enough for an ambulance and kit it out with medical supplies, we know that is something that is going to last them a lifetime.’
To help them do so visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matt-simmons-1.
Track their journey with the photo gallery below.