Sunday, May 19, 2024

How goalkeeper and ex soldier is helping deliver aid into Ukraine

A hockey goalkeeper and former soldier has been driving solo to Ukraine to help deliver aid to refugees.

Jon Dann plays for Southgate men’s 5s but has been focused on taking essential items to the Poland/Ukraine border, as well as into the war-torn country.

“As an ex military man I can’t bear to see what’s happening in Ukraine,” he said.

An Essex vehicle hire company offered a van to Jon so he could drive the 18-hour, 1,145-mile route to Medyka. The small border town has welcomed a large number of the near two million refugees who have so far crossed into Poland from Ukraine. 

Jon added: “The scene there is chaotic, no major aid agencies and it’s all volunteers or ex soldiers doing the best we can.

“A group of ex military unloaded the van and within an hour we loaded up our backpacks and trollies for four trips into Ukraine to drop off the most essential supplies to our contact there.

“As the evening came the nature of our work changed. We spilt up into groups of two to give blankets, torches, candles to those still waiting to get through on the Ukrainian side.”

Jon then managed to sleep while others went out again to smuggle families back across the border.

He added: “I can’t stress enough how desperate the situation and that there are many unsung hero volunteers staying out there risking their lives to save people.”

Jon is looking for donations to fund his next trip to Ukraine. If you are interested in donating please email Alastair at Southgate HC

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