Residents and school children in Hampton Lucy wave off first 'Ambulance Aid' vehicles leaving Warwickshire to help people in Ukraine

The vehicles will be transferred to an ambulance service in Poland who will make arrangements to cross the border into Ukraine

The first ambulances funded by a not-for-profit company in Warwickshire have now left for Poland to help those in need in Ukraine.

Alf Rajkowski, a retired property developer from Hampton Lucy, set off Wednesday (April 6) in one of the two ex-NHS ambulances that he and his friend, Mark Pritchard-Jeffs, have donated to Ambulance Aid.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

Residents and children from Hampton Lucy School waved off the drivers with Ukrainian flags and messages of solidarity.

Residents and children from Hampton Lucy School waved off the Ambulance Aid team who are taking two former NHS ambulances to Poland to help those in need

Alf, Mark and their co-drivers, Bogdan Letkowski and Richard Timmis, are driving 2,100km across six countries (England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Poland) to arrive at their destination by this evening (Thursday April 7).

The vehicles will be transferred to an ambulance service in Poland who will make arrangements to cross the border into Ukraine.

The four drivers will then fly home to the UK on Friday.

Tania Hébert, coordinator of Medical Aid Ukraine in the West Midlands, has been working around the clock with a team of volunteers to stock the ambulances with medical supplies received from across the region.

Donations include an ECG machine from Balance Street Medical Practice in Uttoexter in Staffordshire and patient beds from Spring Hill Medical Centre in Arley.

Ambulance Aid’s mission is to deliver medical supplies where they are most urgently needed using ex-NHS ambulances driven by volunteers and it is crowdfunding to buy additional ambulances.

Within a week, the JustGiving page has raised more than £15,000.