“Amazing outpouring of kindness” from Rotherham to people of Ukraine

A BUSINESSMAN who travelled round the clock on a mercy mission to help Ukrainian refugees said it had been “completely worth it” after making his special delivery to Eastern Europe.

Jamie Turner collected a huge haul of donations — including almost 30,000 nappies, thousands of ladies sanitary products, 100kg of toiletries, £3,000 of fleece tops and five tonnes of clothing, sleeping bags and blankets — after appealing for contributions to be dropped off at the  Dinnington premises of his print firm.

He and workmate Scott Taylor drove all the way to Poland to drop off a 1.5-tonne vanload with the Polish Red Cross for distribution at refugee camps.

Jamie, who set off from Rotherham on Monday morning for a 4,300km round trip, said: “It’s been a long few days but totally worth it.

“These people are in huge need of our help and so doing my part only feels right.

“The outpouring of kindness and generosity from the people back home, along with the kindness we’ve been shown along the way, has been truly amazing.

“If our drive over here meant even one extra person donated, then it has been totally worth it.”

The trip also involved a stack of paperwork, with Britain having left the EU, and each item having to be logged with its country of origin and sale price.

What followed was a smooth journey to Folkstone in Kent, followed by a five-hour slog through the channel and French customs.

“Alternating between driving and trying to sleep in the passenger seat, we travelled through the night and the next day,” Jamie said.

“It took us 32 hours from setting off but when I walked into the PRC depot every second spent on the road was instantly worth it.

“The depot was a hive of activity with a couple of fork trucks whizzing around and a line of volunteers unloading other vans by hand.

“I was pretty much instantly mobbed by ten or so of the friendliest and most enthusiastic volunteers you could imagine offering us food and a warm drinks.

“They’d been working all day long in sub-zero temperatures and they still rushed out with the biggest smiles you could imagine to help unload our van.

“There was a constant stream of vans arriving  full of donations from all over Europe and each one was met with the same enthusiasm that we were shown.

“The Polish Red Cross team were absolute superstars. Hats off to them and the work they are doing.”

Jamie said it had been eye-opening to see streams of military convoys on the motorway, each carrying weapons to the front.

“We’ve not put ourselves in danger or experiences hardship or loss,” he added.

“Those trucks were a reminder just how lucky we are and just how much the donations  from the people of Rother Valley and South Yorkshire are needed.”

Jamie, who described the level of support for his appeal as “mind-blowing”, said he was working with British charities to process the remaining donations so that every item could benefit the people of Ukraine.