Volunteer drivers just after they had crossed into Ukraine
August 25, 2023
A group of eight volunteers including Putney residents have returned safely from Ukraine, having driven ambulances stocked with urgently needed medical supplies to support hospitals and emergency teams on the ground.
The team, which also included residents of Putney and the US, were working as part of charity Medical Life Lines Ukraine (MLLU) founded by Aliya Aralbayeva and supported by Dan Whitehead.
Alongisde Aliya and Dan, Putney residents, Gerry and Sally Strahan, comprise the MLLU Committee. The MLLU Committee meets regularly to move projects forward, manage fundraising, organise the convoys and source the medical equipment that the ambulances transport across to Ukraine. The charity has delivered 33 aid-filled ambulances to war-torn areas of Ukraine since the war began in February 2022 and raised over £100,000 to continue to supply vehicles, equipment and aid to Ukrainian citizens.
Putney resident Jonathan Callaway, one of the fundraisers and volunteer ambulance drivers, said, “I returned home safely on Friday 28th July from Lviv, tired but otherwise unscathed. It has been an amazing and uplifting experience and I am so glad the four aid-filled ambulances we delivered to the Ministry of Health in Lviv will be put to immediate use in rescuing civilian victims of the indiscriminate bombing that is taking such a toll. They will soon be saving lives every day all across Ukraine, just like the 29 delivered before.”
Russia continues to target civilian infrastructure including apartments, hospitals and electricity generation. US officials have estimated that the total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded since the war began 18 months ago is nearing 500,000.
Jonathan Callaway, Gerry and Sally Strahan and Fleur Anderson MP with Putney volunteers preparing the ambulance for its journey
Jonathan Callaway continued, “Lviv is in many ways a normal central European city and a joy to visit. But the sudden cacophony of the air raid sirens brings you up short – the city is also a war zone. So the work of Medical Life Lines Ukraine continues. More convoys are planned in September, October, November and beyond. Our fundraising programme therefore also continues so do please consider making a further donation to enable our work to progress.”
The convoy entering Lviv
Fleur Anderson MP said, “I was honoured to show my support to Jonathan, Gerry, Sally and the whole team of volunteers as they prepared the ambulance to make the journey to Ukraine. Putney stands with Ukraine, and the Putney volunteers have shown the bravery and solidarity I have seen shown in lots of different ways – from constituents welcoming Ukrainian refugees into their homes, to the Friday night Ukrainian Supper at St Michael’s Church.
“I am delighted that the Medical Life Lines Ukraine fundraising total now stands at over £100,000. Please do donate via the GoFundMe page to provide further support to Ukrainians caught up in Russia’s war. The team will continue to supply Ukraine with aid across the coming months, so do donate as much as you are able to.”
For more information about MLLU and to donate click here.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.