Family's 2,500-mile Ukraine mercy dash delivers £10,000 of medical aid

Norfolk farmer Martin Jensen and former paramedic Rupert Wood delivering medical supplies to the Ukraine/Poland border.

Norfolk farmer Martin Jensen (second right) and registered nurse Rupert Wood (far left) made a 2,500-mile round trip to deliver medical supplies to the Ukraine/Poland border - Credit: Martin Jensen

A Norfolk farmer and a registered nurse have completed an exhausting 2,500-mile mission to deliver £10,000 of emergency medical supplies to war-torn Ukraine.

The Jensen family, based at Church Farm in Guestwick, between Fakenham and Aylsham, have also farmed land in Ukraine for a decade - so they were desperate to help their friends there after the Russian invasion.

They launched a GoFundMe appeal which has raised more than £20,000, with the initial £10,000 spent on first aid kits, bandages, tourniquets, syringes and other essentials for wounded troops and civilians.

Farmer Martin Jensen and fellow villager Rupert Wood, a registered nurse who helped advise on the equipment needed, hired a van and drove for over 30 hours to deliver the supplies directly to the Polish-Ukrainian border at Dorohusk.

They were gratefully met by the Jensen family's farm interpreter Olesya and representatives from Lviv, a city close to their farm in the west of the country.

After returning home on Monday, Mr Jensen said: "The journey was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. But having had so much support from so many people, the pressure was on to achieve it. 

"We had a representative from Lviv City Council who was able to get us into the Ukrainian part of the customs zone so we could hand over the supplies.

"Their journey was difficult too, as the GPS signal for the border zone has been disabled and the road signs have been removed in an effort to confuse the Russians. So they arrived later than they planned.

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"They were very, very grateful, and this sort of help is a morale boost for them all.

"It is so badly needed and we later heard that while the majority of our goods had gone to the frontline troops, some had also gone to replenish stocks at the local ambulance service."

Ukrainian refugees arriving at the Polish border

Ukrainian refugees arriving at the Polish border - Credit: Martin Jensen

While waiting at the border, Mr Jensen said he saw a "constant stream" of Ukrainian refugees, who were met by Polish volunteers running soup kitchens and minibuses ferrying families further west to safety.

The GoFundMe page is still accepting donations. Having rapidly passed the initial fundraising target of £10,000 for emergency medical aid, the family is now seeking more information from their team in Ukraine to identify where the rest of the money can provide the biggest benefit.