Working with volunteers from the Ukraine and the UK, the Old Reigatian Rugby Club have launched a fundraising operation to support a drive to provide much-needed medical aid and lifesaving clinical care to those on the front lines in Ukraine.
In just over two weeks, donations from local businesses, organisations and private individuals have enabled nine frontline ambulances and four transport ambulances (with additional seating and chair lifts) to be purchased, packed with the necessary medications, equipment, and supplies and driven to Ukraine.
One of these ambulances was funded and purchased in only six days by the Old Reigatian Rugby Club, with over £7,000 raised by JustGiving donations.
In just twelve days the operation has grown from being run from a dining room table to a purpose-built storage unit near Heathrow, capable of housing 10 ambulances and the required medical supplies.
The club was motivated to respond to the conflict when Tom Brading, Old Reigatian Minis Chair, met Ukrainian neighbours who had been affected by the escalating situation and who were fundraising to purchase ex-NHS ambulances.
Tom said ‘It’s clear that there’s a need for practical help. The ambulances are designed to meet rigorous challenges, which is why we’ve been motivated to help send these emergency vehicles to the frontline where they’ll be delivered directly to the Hospitalliers Battalion in Kyiv, a charity which provides first aid and evacuates wounded Ukrainians from the war zone.’
He added, ‘We are essentially providing rapid medical aid to the front line – the dedication and bravery of this team is phenomenal. I’m delighted that the Old Reigatian Rugby Club has been able to offer such a high level of support and am incredibly grateful for all of the help and donations that we have had for the cause.’
Alongside donations, the team have also had support from various sources. These include other UK based Ukrainian organisations who are now supplying the team with medical and other supplies. Additionally, medical supplies have been donated by the PLAST organisation in the UK, as well as private individuals and businesses.
The team have now registered as a non-profit business under the name ‘Make A Difference UA Limited’. Donations are still actively being encouraged as there is no limit to the number of vehicles that can be purchased.
To support the campaign, please visit the Old Reigatian Club Just Giving page, or drop off medical supplies at the clubhouse – Geoffrey Knight Fields, Park Ln, Reigate RH2 8JX.