Ukrainian lorry drivers stranded at Rothwell will transport your donations to home country

They've agreed to take donations back on their trucks - but money is needed to cover the costs

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 4:16 pm

A group of Ukrainian lorry drivers stranded by the A14 because of Russia's invasion have agreed to transport donations from Northamptonshire residents to their home nation.

The 13 truckers spent days parked up between Junction 8 and 9 when they were unable to get home because of the conflict, before moving to Junction 3 when they were given a bed at the Welcome Break Truck Stop at Rothwell.

They've been supported with offers of help from people across the north of the county, with many offering them food and essential items.

Some of the Ukrainian lorry drivers trying to get home

At the same time a group of residents, led by Kettering's Magdalena Paćko, have been running a Facebook page to co-ordinate donations across Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough to go to those currently in the war-torn country which is facing a humanitarian crisis.

They've received so many donations that 20 boxes were already set to be transported this week with another 120 next week.

And now they've found transport for their donations - with the Ukrainian truckers at Rothwell agreeing to put the donated items on their lorries and take them back to their eastern European home.

Magdalena, 26, said: "I was messaged by Cllr James Hakewill about it and one of our co-ordinators Sabina (Bazaud) went down to Rothwell today.

Just some of the donated items.

"She spoke to the lorry drivers and told them about the collection. They had a conversation and said they would love to help and take them to Ukraine."

The kind-hearted donation co-ordinators have now set up a fundraising page, which needs to raise money to cover the costs of transporting the items.

They need about £1,500 per lorry to pay for between 800 and 1,000 litres of fuel as well as other costs such as the ferry to France.

Magdalena added: "We need this money and we hope to start transporting items in the next couple of days.

"If anyone in Northamptonshire or the UK wants to help we would really encourage you to support it.

"We know where these things are going and they are 100 per cent going straight to Ukraine.

"The things people have donated will help those in Ukraine and will help soldiers protect their country."

Donations so far have included blankets, sanitary products, soaps, nappies and more.

The group has also received an offer to provide bulletproof vests and helmets to be shipped out to Ukraine.

They are in desperate need of first aid kits and medical supplies including paracetamol.

To find out about the items the group needs visit the Facebook page.

To donate to the fundraiser to cover the costs of the transport to Ukraine visit https://www.collectionpot.com/pot/1411885/?fbclid=IwAR0kIrywzvFLGPP01w4FPVlxmWDQQZxv7EfruCj2ZUX9E2BoPW5EDWbr9e4.

Magdalena, whose own sister lives in Poland near the Ukrainian border, said she feels connected to what is happening after the Nazis' 1939 invasion of Poland which marked the beginning of the Second World War.

She added: "I have had many sleepless nights. I have cried a lot. It's just awful.

"I have friends in Ukraine but most have crossed to Poland now. Putin needs to be stopped."