Leeds men from Morley on their way back from Ukraine aid drop-off say 'it was a long way, but it was all worth it'

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Two Leeds men who travelled thousands of miles to take much-needed humanitarian supplies to Ukrainian refugees are now on their way home.

Kev Carney and Elliott Chadwick, two colleagues at Home Utility Group in Morley, set off last Thursday on a mammoth 2,600-mile round trip after filling a company van with donated supplies and clothing.

The two ended up in a Polish town just 10 miles from the Ukrainian border, currently housing hundreds of refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine after the Russian army invasion which began a month ago.

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Kev Carney (centre) with volunteers at the aid drop-off in Chelm.Kev Carney (centre) with volunteers at the aid drop-off in Chelm.
Kev Carney (centre) with volunteers at the aid drop-off in Chelm.

"The ferry on the way here was properly rough," he added. " You were having to tense up just to stay in your bed!

"But the actual journey itself went swimmingly - there was hardly any traffic on the roads."

Kev added that the original drop-off point in Lublin had been closed, meaning the duo had to drive further towards Ukraine to the town of Chelm, after learning of another aid drop-off point on Google.

"It's only 15 kilometres from the Ukrainian border," he said. "They had turned a disused Tesco into a hostel with 300 beds in there. We went there and dropped everything off - they were massively appreciative. It was great, to be honest - it made it all worthwhile.

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"There is one road that goes straight to Ukraine - there were convoys of army, lorries, and buses convoyed by the police that had refugees on there.

"It was a little bit eerie - we thought 'should we really be going this far?' - it felt a bit too close for comfort. But once we got there, we got everything out and it was all fine."

Elliott added: "It was a long old way, but when we got there, and how they were with us, it made it all worth it. They were so thankful and it was brilliant."

The two also raised more than £5,000 in donations via gofundme, which Kev added will be donated to charities helping Ukrainian refugees.

Kev and Elliott expect to arrive back home on Tuesday afternoon, but are not resting on their laurels. It's back to work on Wednesday morning!

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