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“Our International Community Matters”
Toys and aid for Ukraine's refugees


Swift Group send a vehicle filled with toys and aid for people fleeing Ukraine…

Monday 14th March 2022

Music credits on video: Russians - cover by Tim Sparks. Original by Sting, Sergei Prokofiev

As news of the invasion of Ukraine began to break, Swift Group announced on social media that we intended to take a vehicle of surplus toys from the 2021 Louise Purton Christmas Toy Appeal to the border between Ukraine and Poland. As the toys were donated to underprivileged children in West Berkshire, we sought donors’ approval before arranging the donation. The post gained unanimous support and the plan was to take the toys to the border on March 4th.

Toys and aid loaded into luton van for people fleeing Ukraine

Sofya Samokhina, who lives in Thatcham and is originally from Omsk, Russia, saw the post and told her friend Natalia Calkam, who is from Ukraine, that there was a vehicle going to Poland. Natalia had collected a large number of donations and was trying to arrange for them to be taken into Ukraine itself. Natalia contacted Adrian Smith, Swift’s CEO, and asked whether he could help deliver crucial aid along with the toys. Natalia, whose family live in Kharkiv and are currently sheltering underground, explained to Adrian that the greatest need was not on the border but in Ukraine itself. She mentioned that she had contacts with Ukranian officials who could meet the vehicle on the Korczowa-Krakovets border and take the aid and supplies into the country.

Sofya Samokhina and Natalia Calkam helping with our international appeal

As the gravity of the situation became more and more apparent, Adrian changed tack and, working with Sofya and Natalia, arranged for the delivery to be put back a week and to include aid for women and children as well as relevant (yet reduced levels) of toys. He offered a space to store the supplies and transport to move the goods from Natalia’s home to Swift’s regional site, where the shipment was prepared for despatch.

Sofya Samokhina and Natalia Calkam helping with our international appeal

The vehicle was driven direct and non-stop in shifts by Adrian and Alex Rzadkoski, a Polish national and employee of Swift who volunteered to help. Alex’s local knowledge was a big advantage in Poland. Swift believe in helping the local international community and friends from Russia and Ukraine were supported by a Polish employee. Adrian Smith, Swift CEO, says,

We believe that our international community in Berkshire matters. As a proud employer of many Eastern European people, we wanted to offer meaningful support to people in crisis. Our Polish driver and I will take a vehicle of donations from the Berkshire community and a Russian local resident supporting her Ukrainian friend. We believe this is a powerful example of how united our community is.

Update: 14th March @ 05.58

Boarding Le Shuttle

Through the check points, waiting to load on train across the channel ✅
#ukraineissue #ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 14th March @ 07.10

In France

Now in France ✅
#UkraineIssue #ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 14th March @ 08.43

In Belgium

Belgium ✅
#ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 15th March @ 02:25

Coming up halfway ✅
#ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 15th March @ 08.43

End of the Motorway

24 hours driving ✅
1400 miles ✅
Finally leaving the motorway ✅
#ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 15th March @ 10.30

10 miles from the Ukraine/Polish border

10 miles from the destination ✅
Beautiful day ✅
On the Ukraine/Polish border ✅
#ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Update: 15th March @ 12.16

10 miles from the Ukraine/Polish border

We made it! After 24 hours on the road, Adrian and Alex made it to the Korczowa-Krakovets border. As planned, they met official Ukrainian representatives there and transferred the aid to a vehicle headed into the war zone. We know that your donations are going directly to people in desperate need, and that makes it all worthwhile. Thanks Adrian and Alex, and safe journey home! #ukraine #Appeal #toyappeal

Facebook: @SwiftLogisticsGroup

Instagram: @toyappeal

“Our International Community Matters”

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