An agricultural insurance company is assisting Ukraine conflict charity ‘Driving Ukraine’ and is looking for further support.
Over the past year, Acres Insurance has been involved in organising the MOTs, repairs and insurance for vehicles, along with obtaining and delivering supplies to the Ukrainian front line.
In April, insurance director Nigel Welling helped to organise the safe delivery of three vehicles to the charity, Acres Insurance paid for a 4×4 along with necessary vehicle checks, repairs and insurance.
With donations from local companies and Acres’ clients, a further six 4x4s have been delivered, in addition to tyres, jackets and blankets for his latest trip to Ukraine. A convoy of Acres clients, friends and ‘Driving Ukraine’ volunteers joined Mr Welling as he set off from the UK in October 2023, where they travelled across France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and finally, Lviv in Western Ukraine.
“There is a waiting list from the different regiments for vehicles to be donated and used for missions around the front line, including ferrying medics and injured personnel,” says Mr Wellings.
‘Driving Ukraine’ was set up in March 2022 by Fynn Watt. His initial trip saw him deliver various supplies plus shuttling Ukrainian refugees to places of refuge in Europe. From this, Fynn established the ‘Driving Ukraine’ charity.
With Ukraine being one of the top agricultural producers and exporters in the world, the war has affected the ability of Ukrainian farmers to grow and ship their crops. Many of those fighting in the war are Ukrainian farmers and farm workers, aligning with Acres’ objectives of supporting those in agriculture or rural areas.
“During the trip, we were accompanied by a host of inspirational people who welcomed us very genuinely and thanked us profusely. One inspirational individual we met was British-born Aiden Aslin who, shortly before the war, served in the Ukrainian army where he was captured as a Russian prisoner.
“Acres has now participated in the delivery of a total of nine 4-wheel drive vehicles to Ukraine. The vehicles delivered are already being re-painted in camouflage colours, and two are already working on the Eastern and Southern frontlines of Ukraine,” says Nigel.
Whilst in Ukraine, the team identified an urgent need for quad bikes. Over the winter months, the ground will become soft and damp, making it a challenge to manoeuvre heavy armoured vehicles off-road without getting stuck. Quad bikes can go where 4-wheel drive vehicles can’t and are sometimes less easily spotted by the enemy.
“I am determined that our efforts do not stop here. An additional trip will take place around late April 2024. Our target will be to find six more 4-wheel drive vehicles to deliver, along with quad bikes,” notes Mr Welling.
If you would like to support ‘Driving Ukraine’ by donating a 4-wheel drive vehicle, quad bike or supplies, you can contact Nigel Wellings directly.