- Pick-ups for peace has delivered its hundredth vehicle to Ukraine, exceeding its initial target of sending 100 4×4 cars to the country’s Eastern front
One hundred and four vehicles, including two ambulances and a campervan, have now been successfully delivered across four convoys, driven to Ukraine by 160 volunteers from all around the UK.
The charity marked the milestone at a dinner in Lviv for the most recent convoy’s drivers. The group were joined by Ukrainian military and humanitarian strategists who confirmed how crucial the vehicles are for communities in and around the frontlines – and will be until Ukraine gets back its international recognised sovereign borders as agreed in 1991.
Pick-ups for peace have now set their sights on the next 100 vehicles, and are scaling up their operations as they commit to the long haul. To achieve this target, they are now scoping sources of 4×4 vehicles from all sectors and all corners of the country.
Pick-ups for peace co-founder, Vince Gillingham, who has just completed his fourth mission to Ukraine in as many months, said: “Our original aim of sending 100 4x4s to Ukraine by June has been achieved ahead of schedule. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have donated vehicles and funds, and our drivers.
“Each convoy is getting bigger – there were 66 volunteers in the most recent one – and the momentum behind the charity is awe-inspiring. A dozen of the participants were under the age of 25 and had raised thousands of pounds each to donate and transport a vehicle. Others have given vehicles even though they will struggle to replace them.
“Our military contacts echo this gratitude, and the impact donated vehicles is having on Ukrainian communities and troops’ capacity at the front is clearly defined. Their message is sobering, however; they need our support for the long haul, until Russia has gone and Ukraine is back on its feet.”
Mark Laird, another co-founder newly back from his fourth convoy to Ukraine, said: “It’s incredible to think that what started out as a conversation has grown into something so big. It’s not just vehicles we’re delivering: Russia wants to break the Ukrainians’ spirit, but every convoy brings morale as well, and we make a point of celebrating each consignment in Lviv with a dinner for the drivers and our Ukrainian friends.
“I have worked with hundreds of people in Lviv and every one of them is either fighting in this war, or has family members and friends that are doing so. The Ukrainians are fighting this war on our behalf, and we are very fortunate that they are willing to do this.
“Now that we have charity status, we have a stronger platform on which to build, and we are looking to throw the net wide open to all sources of 4x4s. The UK’s farming and rural community are fundamental to this cause, and we are deeply grateful to all those who have funded us so far, as well as the 160 volunteers who have driven vehicles. We won’t give up. Russia wants us to get bored and back off, but we are doubling down.”