4:33 PM April 24, 2022
The people behind a mission to provide essential medical supplies to Ukrainians on the front lines are calling on celebrities and pharmaceutical companies to support their cause.
Waites and Stones Ltd in Swaffham is appealing for specialist medical equipment such as defibrillators, tourniquets, trauma kits and burn kits to help soldiers and civilians in need in Ukraine.
Director Scott Stones was moved by their plight and resilience in the face of violence in this country at war, and is determined to do what he can to help.
The company had partnered with Chris Riches Transport in Thetford on a mercy mission in March to transport two truckloads of donations to Poland.
And Mr Stones has since made separate trips to Lviv and kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, with his articulated truck full of aid to deliver vital supplies to people on the ground.
He returned to Norfolk last week and is planning his fourth trip to help those in need, after hearing about the ‘desperate’ need for medical items.
He said: “We all take our normal everyday life for granted and it shows how easily it can be ripped away from you.
“But the strength of character and resilience shown by these people, for whom this is now their new normal, amazed me.
“I just hope that if I ever encountered any kind of adversity like this, I would have an ounce of their courage.”
Working with Norfolk Polonia, Sunflower Relief and the Ukrainian community in Hampshire, Waites and Stones is now appealing to local and national businesses for donations of food, medical supplies and survival gear such as dark colored sleeping bags , tents and gas stoves.
In a Facebook post, the firm said: “This is not going away, these people still need our help.
“They are people, just like you and me, and as long as we can, we will continue to go where we are told our help is most needed.”
Zoe Waites, Director of Waites and Stones, shared Mr. Stones’ recent experience in Kyiv.
She said that after arriving in the city in the late afternoon, he was unable to unload the aid from his truck before curfew and was taken to a safe place overnight and taken supported by Ukrainians.
“They also sent candy and chocolate back for her children,” she added.
“He couldn’t believe the generosity of people who have lost so much but are still willing to give to people who help them.”
Natalka Auker of Downham Market, who is among those supporting the company in its appeal, is also calling on local celebrities and Norfolk politicians to support the cause.
She said: “Scott is taking a huge risk making these trips and he already has a lot of local people and businesses behind him, but now we need to make this even bigger.
“People need to be aware of the seriousness of this current crisis and that it is not going away any time soon.”
Local events are also being held in the coming weeks to support the cause by raising funds for relief and to help defray the costs of the trip, including a silent disco and bingo at The Garden House on May 27, a roast pork, an auction and raffle at the Market Cross Café in Swaffham on May 20.
A signed Norwich City Football shirt, tickets to visit High Lodge and various vouchers for meals, beauty treatments and an offer for a personalized pet portrait were donated for the latter event.
Those interested in donating prizes can contact the society on email@example.com or 07824505670.
Those wishing to donate items to the appeal can drop them off at the customer service desk at The Atrium, Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich and Garden House, Pembroke Road, Norwich.
To donate money to the cause, visit “Fuel for Ukraine” on GoFund Me.
The EDP also appealed to the Ukrainian people. You can donate to justgiving.com/fundraising/edp-ukraine