MAKING CONTACT: Mark Rumble and Stewart Hood with their contact “Andrew” at the Slovakia-Ukraine button
MAKING CONTACT: Mark Rumble and Stewart Hood with their contact “Andrew” at the Slovakia-Ukraine button

A PIERCEBRIDGE man is to tell of his journey to the Ukrainian border to deliver much-needed supplies during a coffee morning this month.

No sooner will Mark Rumble have delivered his presentation when he will be off to make a second trip to the war-torn country delivering more supplies.

Mr Rumble, and his friend Stewart Hood, set off on March 27 and it took them two days to reach the border crossing in Slovakia.

He said: “We originally planned to go to Poland but we were given the name of a contact in Uzhhorod. He came and met us at the border. They have been working with the local hospital in Uzhhorod, who particularly needed some items, which by coincidence, we had been given by a local hospital up here. There were a lot of surgical items, and that hospital’s suppliers had just been bombed by the Russians, so they had run out of a lot of the items.”

The group that Mr Rumble met up with is led by a British army veteran, who can only be identified as Andrew.

The food that was delivered went directly to people in Borodyanka, which was one of the first cities to be occupied by the Russians.

Mr Rumble said: “It was one of the most destroyed places in the north, it was hit really hard.

“We got a really nice letter from the authorities in Borodyanka thanking us for the aid and medical supplies we sent, which was quite incredible because they were still occupied at that time. Our aid was one of the first to get in there, which was amazing.”

The agency Mr Rumble dealt with emailed photographs of the items being delivered to the city, which will form part of his presentation.

He will also describe some of the apprehension they felt as they approached the border.

Mr Rumble said: “We got stopped by police. We don’t speak their language and they don’t speak great English either and they are well-armed police officers at the border of a conflict. But then this chap called Andrew came up in his vehicle, and he was as bold as brass, and larger than life.”

The next trip out to the border will be centred around a school in Uzhhorod.

Mr Rumble said: “There were about 100 children there because it is in a small little town, but when I was there, at the last count, it had 1,200 because of all the refugees, and they don’t have the cooking facilities to look after them all and feed the kids three times a day. So, we decided to set up another little trip to take cookers to the school.”

He added that businesses had already sponsored eight ovens for the next delivery as well as some commercial kitchen units.

Liz Hodgson, who is co-ordinating the Ukrainian appeal in Piercebridge called on people to continue to donate items to the cause.

Included in the itmes needed are over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol and cough syrup, spare antibiotics, tinned food – especially fish, porridge, rice, pasta, baby food, packet soup, biscuits, powdered milk, coffee in sachets and tea.

The items can be dropped off at Piercebridge Organic Farm Shop, or dropped off at St Mary’s Church during the coffee morning.

The coffee morning starts at 10am and Mr Rumble will give his presentation at 10.30am before setting off for the Ukrainian border.