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A huge milestone is reached!


More aid to Ukraine, further discussions with Türkiye and a new unfolding disaster in the Middle East.

We start unfortunately with what we must start with, the catastrophic situation in the Middle East.  This is the statement that has been published on our website, which is what we stand by.

Violence and hostilities in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel is escalating.  Many thousands people have already lost their lives and sadly this number is likely to increase.  Many more thousands have already been displaced with still thousands more injured and missing.  

Hope and Aid Direct “takes aid, not sides”!  

This is more than just our motto, it’s the humanitarian ‘absolute’ that we have operated by since our inception.  We all know that there are two sides to every story (at least), and we all know that sometimes it’s nearly impossible to remain impartial, but there can be no legality or acceptability for murder of innocent civilians by any person or country.   

We stand shoulder to shoulder with all innocent civilians.  

We stand against all war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide committed by any side.      

We call-out all war criminals, and support the call for all war criminals on all sides to be prosecuted and brought to justice.  

As a charity we do not work in this part of the world, but we cannot just sit and watch as the terrifying escalation of violence is leaving people in urgent need of humanitarian support and medical aid. People have lost friends, family, homes and income; everything including hope! Whilst we do not take sides, which is critical in this very complicated and political conflict, we always ensure that our aid and efforts are directed towards those most in need.  

There are charities and individuals with whom we have worked in the past, in both the Greek Islands and Ukraine who are present on the ground and who have already lost colleagues in this war. We are currently assessing what we can do within the confines of these partnerships, to provide much needed aid once humanitarian corridors are open.  In addition to these partnerships, we have been in contact with a number of international organisations working in the region with regards to bulk aid that we have access to, to see if this can be supplied to them.  

Because of the complexity of the situation we have not, as yet, set up any fundraiser.  If we conclude that we could use any money raised effectively then we will start a fundraiser urgently.  If you particularly wish to donate through Hope and Aid Direct to support victims of this war then please donate using our donate button, and note in your donation that it is to be used for this purpose; we will ensure it gets to the right place via a partner organisation.

Any further updates will be made on the website. 

As it mentions above we are contact with a number of agencies and we will hopefully do something as and when we can.  As you will have seen on the news, the situation is incredibly complex and very little aid is getting into Gaza. 

They often say "The first casualty of war is the truth",  we therefore urge you all to ensure you are seeing this conflict from all sides and using the media available to you to inform you as best you can of the facts on the ground.  There is a tendency that many of us have to get our news from one source, so we urge you to expand this to take in BBC, Sky, France24, Aljazeera and other sources to ensure a balanced view of the conflict. 

Oh a photo of another truck I hear you say.... 

Yes and no.  Yes its another backload to Ukraine, but this is not just any old truck, this is the 50th truck of aid that we have been involved in moving to Ukraine since the start of the conflict.  This was a mixed load but with an eye on winter that is fast approaching, so the aid was chosen accordingly.

Our previous operating model prior to this conflict was to send 2 to 4 convoys of aid per year to areas in need.  Almost overnight we changed this to the point where somehow we have averaged one truck every 12 days, incredible.  There are a huge amount of people to thank that have made this feat possible, many more than I can mention here.  From everyone who has donated aid or money, to those who knit blankets, the corporate donors, the grafters in Basildon who load the trucks, all of the drivers who have been involved, the hard working volunteers who deal with the admin and social media and a few people in the background, you know who you are, who shift and move aid around the country, load trucks, work with corporates and drop off points to keep the operation moving, thank you.  It is an incredible achievement, and having been to Ukraine and met Alla and some of the recipients of this aid I can assure you that all of your hard work is hugely appreciated. 


Other aid to Ukraine

Since the last newsletter, ‘Frantic’ our old truck which was donated to UoP, has been used extensively to reach those in need and enable UoP to deliver aid to far more people, and work more effectively.  Much of this aid is being taken to those living in the East and South-east of Ukraine as well as communities around Kyiv.

In September we sent an articulated lorry to UoP comprising of Hygiene goods including incontinence pad, nappies, handwash, wipes and toiletries, mixed food, sleeping bags and blankets, clothing and shoes, two generators (see fundraising article below) and a pallet of decorating materials to help with the repainting and refurbishment of municipal buildings and institutions where people are living.

We also organised another articulated lorry in partnership with Whitbread/Premier Inn that comprised of 80 double mattresses and new duvets.  These have been delivered to those in need, giving everyone something to lie on of a night and a good night’s sleep.  In conjunction with the mattresses UoP are buying bases from a locally company who have agreed to make them at cost price. 

In October we organised an articulated truck comprising of much needed water pumps and bowsers including road trailers obtained from the water industry in the UK for direct use by municipalities in Mykolaiv in response to the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, which caused extensive flooding along the Dnipro River.  This load also included a further 9 mattresses and new bedding donated by Whitbread.


A load to Türkiye

Whilst this load is not yet on the road, Steve Walsh has been working with Whitbread to put another load of mattresses together with a view of moving them out to the region affected by the earthquake. 

The response has been somewhat slower and far more complicated than we would have liked, but as many of you will know, moving aid sometimes is very difficult and for reasons that I continually fail to fathom, obstacles to helping people are often put in the way but one of the many mantra's that we continually need to work to is: "difficult is done at once, the impossible takes a little longer".  It looks like we will get there in the end.  We will of course feed back once this load has arrived at its destination. 



Once again we would like to give a big shout out to Great Waltham C of E Primary School especially Elsie, Aria and Jack who organised a fundraising event for HAAD and collected funds and purchased two generators.  These generators were sent out on one of the trucks that left in September. 

Summer salvage

Following a busy summer of Festival salvage with Herts for Refugees, we filled our articulated lorry and 2 x 7.5 ton trucks with sleeping bags and tents, which we delivered to Calais and Dunkirk, to local grassroots organisations that are working tirelessly to bring dignity to those living under canvas.  

We took approx. 2,310 sleeping bags and 2,365 tents to Mobile Refugee Support (Dunkirk), Care for Calais, Women’s Refugee Aid and Utopia 56.  

Quote from Charlie at MRS ‘ this is the largest single delivery we have ever received and will see us through the major evictions this Autumn and Winter’. This was echoed by all the other volunteers and agencies we went to.  

The festivals we salvaged this year were Reading, Creamfields, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury and Boomtown.

A new drop off point

A new Drop Off Point has been established since our last newsletter.  We very much welcome Maisie in Birmingham who is now collecting for us.  Ongoing thanks to all the other marvellous donations from our other DOPs in the last quarter and all their supporters for the much-needed items for Ukraine.


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