A BUSINESS owner from Bishop Auckland will spend 24 hours travelling to Ukraine later this week to offer support to the people of the war-embattled country and those that have already fled across the border to Poland.

Like many others across the world, owner of Red Property Solutions, Jack Vincent, was watching the news over the weekend and saw the harrowing footage of Ukrainian forces holding off Russian troops, scenes of destruction and devastation and a country facing missile strikes from planes above.

Since last week, the Eastern European country has faced a Russian invasion.

Read more: Ukraine: North East doctors collect vital medical supplies

Across the globe, mass protests, signs of solidarity and strict measures placed on Russia have all happened, with others also looking to help where they can.

Not wanting to stand idly by and just become a bystander to the war, Mr Vincent has launched an appeal for people across County Durham to join him in collecting useful items to take to Ukraine and the border of Poland – in what will be a 1400 mile journey each way.

If everything goes to plan, and he collects the required amount of donations, Mr Vincent will set out for Eastern Europe on Wednesday this week – but hasn’t ruled out running further trips, which will take 24 hours each way.

The Northern Echo: The 1400 mile journey will take 24 hours for Mr Vincent. Picture: GOOGLE.The 1400 mile journey will take 24 hours for Mr Vincent. Picture: GOOGLE.

As well as offering donations to those most in need after fleeing their home nation, the Bishop Auckland business owner also hopes to bring several refugees back over to the UK with him and offer them accommodation in County Durham.

He said: “Sitting there on a Sunday afternoon, watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold into an all-out war on TV, Putin is putting his nuclear options on alert and hundreds of thousands of families are being torn apart.

“Putting politics aside, these people are flooding into Poland but have no idea where to go next. I have space for some here in Bishop Auckland.

Read more: Ukraine: Darlington Hippodrome cancels Russian State Opera shows

“I’m going on a road trip to Medyka on the border of Poland and Ukraine. Ideally, I would love to take a minibus loaded with clothes and everyday essentials to then bring back a family or two here to County Durham.

He added: “I’m not sure if anyone else is having the same thoughts but, if you are, then your help would be appreciated. Now I have a transit van, a car, two drivers, and some cash for fuel.  I’m happy to do more than one trip.

“I’m looking to start the trip later this week and I want to get as many people involved as possible.”

The Northern Echo: Ukraine has been rocked by a Russian invasion, as Ukrainians have lost their lives and many have fled their home. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO. Ukraine has been rocked by a Russian invasion, as Ukrainians have lost their lives and many have fled their home. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO.

As part of the appeal, Mr Vincent is looking for ready to wear clothes of all ages and sizes, nappies and baby essentials, shoes, sanitary products, unlocked old mobile phones with chargers, jackets, lightweight pushchairs and pet food. He is also desperate for vacuum storage bags so he can pack in as much as possible.

Now that he’s set the initiative up, he is also looking for Police and Ukrainian translators via telephone and help from local MPs and Durham County Council.

For those wanting to give donations, they can do so by visiting Red Response – RPS at 94 Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, DL14 7EQ or Aquarius Nails & Beauty, 75 Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland between 9am and 5pm, or by calling 01388606988. People can also email jack@rps-limited.co.uk.

If you’re willing to offer funds to help the charity campaign, people can transfer to J VINCENT on sort code 60-83-71 and account number 89789962.

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