Doncaster donations help save lives of two soldiers in war torn Ukraine

The lives of two soldiers have been saved in war-torn Ukraine thanks to the generosity of Doncaster residents.

By Ellen Beardmore
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 9:28 am

Big-hearted locals have handed over a vast array of contributions to a collection drive called the Askern Ukraine Appeal, which was started by parish councillor Jake Keeble.

Included in the items which have now made it to Ukraine - in a 1,800 mile journey from Doncaster - were an organ transport box, medical and other essential supplies.

The box was donated by a Doncaster resident who said it was surplus from previous overseas aid missions they had been involved with.

Jake Keeble (left) has been organising collections of aid for Ukraine.

Jake has now discovered the box has been used to help save two male soldiers serving on the front line in the Eastern European country.

The Askern resident said: “This week I’ve been contacted with extremely emotional news to say that the organ donation box has been used and it has saved two lives and both the doctor and priest there passed on their personal thank you to everyone who is supporting the appeal in Doncaster.

“From the information I was provided they had been used on the front line to save two male soldiers.

“Without that organ transport box there would have been very little chance of hope for the poor victims of war.”

The Askern collections began back in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. Jake said: “I saw a colleague had posted a message asking for donations for the Ukraine appeal and decided I would share this and start my own collection.

“Having visited Kyiv and Chernobyl in Ukraine in 2016, I couldn’t sit back without helping.

“It’s a beautiful country with amazingly friendly people.”

An ‘overwhelming’ amount of support rapidly flooded in for the collection from residents and Jake soon dropped off a car packed with supplies. Another van was filled with items donated by people in Selby after Jake’s family there shared the appeal. And a third collection was also successful.

All of the donations were sent to Ukraine via the 1st Pudsey Scout Group in Leeds.

Jake added: “We were invited directly to the warehouse where the collections are received, sorted and prepared for transport.

“They couldn’t thank everyone enough and were taken back by how generous people could be.”

Askern Town Council supported the appeal and became a donation collection point for items, as well as agreeing to fly the Ukrainian flag outside the town hall.

Boxes packed with donations are sent with a message in Ukrainian that reads ‘send love and hope’ for people there to know they have support in the UK.

To get involved with the appeal see the Facebook group here

Since Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine earlier this year, countries across the world have united in sending both aid and military aid to the country, with hundreds of thousands of items shipped out across Europe.

Countries around the world have also united in imposing strict sanctions on Russia, with many major international firms pulling out of the country.