A group of friends united by their passion for off-roading in their Land Rovers here and across Europe for the past 20 years, are driving them in convoy to take medical supplies to the Ukrainian border.
The men met in Tunbridge Wells today (Saturday) at 10am to load up their Land Rovers with everything from nappies and sanitary towels, to drip feeds, ointment and painkillers.
The three friends Andrew Warren, known as Bunny, from Crowborough and Jeff Darling, from Tunbridge Wells, and Mike Roberts from London, will be joined by three others.
Read more:The Kent heroes transporting aid to the Ukrainian border
They hope to be catching the 7am at the Eurotunnel on Sunday (March 13) and from there plan to sleep for one night with their vehicles in Germany before continuing to Kraków in southern Poland, where local people are ready to meet them.
The journey from Tunbridge Wells to their destination is around 1,000 miles and they hope to arrive Tuesday “depending on traffic”.
Bunny, 58, told Kent Live: “I read there were about 1.4 million refugees coming over the Polish border. It is only 150 miles from Kraków to the Ukraine border. The idea is to drive to the borders and put the stuff we have in cars for it to be distributed.”
But he heard people had taken 20 hours to travel that 150 miles.
The friends have been working with domiciliary care company Care at Home, which under Adam Hunt, extra care lead manager for East Sussex, has been donating supplies and loaning its building in Knights Park in Tunbridge Wells for storage.
This is where the convoy loaded up today. (Friday)
Jeff’s wife Claire Darling works there, said the company had launched an appeal to collect donations from staff and supporters.
Joana Headley, is Polish and also works there and has been handling the bureaucracy around transporting aid for the Land Rover convoy. Her family lives in Kraków.
Others have helped with donations including St John’s Primary School and Tunbridge Wells Football Club, said Bunny.
Donations of money have also meant the men don’t each have to pay the entire £1,200 cost to take one Land Rover over.
Recent grandfather Bunny said what had started as a discussion on WhatsApp about the invasion of Ukraine by Putin on February 24, led to a decision four days later to head there in a convoy.
“It’s gone from three old gits talking about how Putin is trying to invade a functioning democracy to suddenly we have five vehicles hopefully leaving on Sunday morning,” he said.