Norfolk men set off to deliver car full of aid to Poland

Malcolm Catlin, front, and co-driver Andy Kerr, with their packed up car full of supplies at Terring

Malcolm Catlin, front, and co-driver Andy Kerr, with their packed up car full of supplies at Terrington St Clement, ready for their drive to the Polish- Ukraine border. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Two men moved by the war in Ukraine have set off from their homes in Norfolk to deliver aid to refugees at the country's border and help rescue families to safety.

Malcolm Catlin, from Terrington St Clement, and Andy Kerr, from Downham Market, are driving 1,100 miles to Poland to help Ukrainians displaced by conflict.

Mr Catlin said he was inspired to help after feeling "angry and helpless" at the scenes on the news of people fleeing violence in Ukraine.

Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland, inside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Uk

Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland in Lviv, Ukraine. - Credit: AP

The horticulturist and Mr Kerr, a member of King's Lynn Rotary Club, left Norfolk on Thursday, March 17 and aim to arrive in Lublin in Poland on Friday, where they will delivering vital aid and then plan to register to transport stranded refugees to a place of safety.

Mr Catlin said: "We hope to get aid to people and make sure we engage as quickly as possible to get a family picked up, and then get back and do another run.

"I've seen a video clip of both a sports centre and Tesco there absolutely packed with refugees, desperate to get to a home.

"At some stage they are going to need bigger transport than us. For the moment we're going to make our small contributions towards it."

Malcolm Catlin, front, and co-driver Andy Kerr, with their packed up car full of supplies at Terring

Malcolm Catlin, front, and co-driver Andy Kerr, with their packed up car full of supplies at Terrington St Clement, ready for their drive to the Polish- Ukraine border. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

And Mr Kerr said the pair are going to go "wherever they are asked" to transport the refugees, and have given themselves until Tuesday to help.

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He added: "We have had tremendous support from local people and from King's Lynn Rotary Club and its partner club Emmerich-Rees club in Germany.

"We're extremely thankful, the car is packed to the gunwales and had a roof box fitted."

Mr Catlin set up a fundraising page and Facebook page for the cause and has seen support come flooding in in the form of monetary donations, essential items and practical help.

The pair hope they can meet immediate needs when they arrive and hope to buy further aid if needed.

Displaced Ukrainians stand in a line on the train platform after arriving from Ukraine at the statio

Displaced Ukrainians stand in a line on the train platform after arriving from Ukraine at the station in Przemysl, Poland. - Credit: AP

They are currently driving over items including sleeping bags, warm coats, blankets, nappies, toilettes, sanitary items, first aid kits, torches and power-banks.

To donate visit his Crowdfunder page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/support-for-trapped-and-fleeing-ukrainians/backers#start or his 'Malcolm Catlin Ukraine practical support' Facebook page.

The EDP has launched an appeal to help the people of Ukraine, by supporting the work of the Disasters Emergency Committee. You can donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/edp-ukraine