This is what a Fylde entrepreneur saw when he helped deliver aid to the Ukrainian border

A Fylde pubs entrepreneur has told of his experience supporting Ukrainian refugees crossing the Polish border.
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Ross Robinson’s Red Fox and Peacock group, which has the Eagle at Weeton and The Queens Hotel Lytham, has been raising funds and taking donations to help people fleeing the Russian invasion.

Drivers set off at the end of March to the border town Przemysl in Poland which has become a centre of help for refugees.

He went ahead to help with organisation and while there used the donations the pubs’ customers had made on the JustGiving page and bills, to buy water, and food essentials in Poland to be trucked over into Ukraine to desperate people still living there.

Some of the emergency facilities on the Polish border for people fleeing the Russian invasion of UkraineSome of the emergency facilities on the Polish border for people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Some of the emergency facilities on the Polish border for people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine
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They collected 66 pallets of donated goods in Lancashire, including shoeboxes of gifts and toys from children which went to children at Ukrainian orphanage.

Ross, who spent his teenage school years in Warsaw and has many friends Poland, was at school with many Ukrainian children and felt he had to help after the invasion began.

Ross said “The food and drink went over nightly to Ukraine, straight to the people who needed it. It surprised me how quick the operation was. I was buying goods locally and the truck drivers were taking them into Kiev and other places under cover of darkness. The next day we were seeing pictures of orphanages, residents and soldiers with our goods, which was a surprise.

"Przemysl is six miles from the border and its train station was the hub of activity for refugees.

Ross Robinson and Alan Reed, general manager of The Elephant Pub and Bakehouse in Woolton, with some of the donations for UkraineRoss Robinson and Alan Reed, general manager of The Elephant Pub and Bakehouse in Woolton, with some of the donations for Ukraine
Ross Robinson and Alan Reed, general manager of The Elephant Pub and Bakehouse in Woolton, with some of the donations for Ukraine

"You have to give credit to the Polish people and the charities working there.

"I saw packed corridors, people having to sleep virtually on each other, but also getting humanitarian necessities.

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"When I went down to the actual border, I saw 50 to 100 people coming over. People in a desperate situation. But at the same time there were people returning home. A lot of people want to stay near the border because they want to be close to loved ones left behind and want to get back as soon as this is all over to salvage what they can.

"The guys I was working with, the drivers, were mostly Ukrainian.

Ross Robinson's Red Fox and Peacock pubs group team has raised funds and sent aid to UkraineRoss Robinson's Red Fox and Peacock pubs group team has raised funds and sent aid to Ukraine
Ross Robinson's Red Fox and Peacock pubs group team has raised funds and sent aid to Ukraine

"One of the days we had worked hard all day until 7.30pm and the leader told us to go home, the day is done, but then he spent all night driving into Ukraine.

"To see the bravery of some of the guys, who are really going the extra mile, is incredible to see.

"The whole experience is harrowing but humbling and in a way inspiring. You have the evil of the Russian operation, but you also have the good that the rest of the world is trying to do.”

The pubs are still taking donations from people’s bills and on the Red Fox and Peacock Ukrainian Aid JustGiving page and Ross is hoping to hit £20,000 which will continue to support Ukraine to provide temporary homes for refugees. He said if any other businesses wanted to help or advice on donations to Ukraine they could get in touch.

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