Run 21 – October 2023

No sooner is one run over than we prepared for the next one! Run 21 was a solo run with Andy’s van to Kyiv.

Andy’s had just over 1 tonne on board! Special thanks to Dee Johnson at Thornbury Nursing Home in Uckfield, Ray Martin from Uckfield Concert Brass. Carrie & Jim in Ringmer. the 2 Jens from Brighton & Hove City Brass, my family and my neighbours in Merton Court.

Joining Andy on this trip was another of our “Brass Band Aid for Ukraine” supporters, Tony Line – Tony has a long association with Ukraine and was looking forward to getting back out there. Andy though is more happy that Tony can drive!

More aid was been loaded onto the van on Friday 6th – huge thanks to our Brass Band Aid partners LGB Brass, Tony Line, Chris Nonoo and Oksana Tidman from the Ukraine Support Group in Bexhill.

Our first stop was in Weeze to pick up some aid kindly sourced by Frank, our photographer friend from the last run – here’s his shopping trip!

Despite road closures on the way to Dover, we arrived there with an hour to spare before our departure:

It was a big bonus for Andy to have Tony along as it enabled us to avoid having to stop for sleep! Here’s the 2nd update from the run:

The team made good progress to the Poland/Ukraine border crossing at Medyka – getting in to the Polish side was very quick but then it slowed down – unusually for the Poles to be the cause but they appeared to have systems problems!

We arrived in Brovary in good time to be able to unload the same day – this was great for us as we wanted to head down to Odessa the following morning. If I missed any donor name checks in these videos, my apologies – it was the end of a very long day! Our hosts made a call and a team of helpers arrived and we unloaded in double quick time”!

There were some medical items which we couldn’t bring from the UK so with the aid of Lina with a shopping list, Andy personally purchased a lot of items including antibiotics that are urgently needed by Maryna who was in the Donetsk region at the time. Then it was just a short 5 1/2 hr trip down to Odessa.

Tony has friends there which was the purpose of this part of the trip for which Tony kindly funded the fuel and accommodation costs. Having a few days real rest and recuperation before heading home is something Andy doesn’t normally get so this was much appreciated! Here’s some pictures he took in the City:

The damaged Cathedral was a bit of an own goal as it was the Russian Orthodox Cathedral! We did see other damage near the port but for security reasons, cannot post the pictures at this time.

It was soon time to start the long drive back to Dunkirk – the overall time from Odessa to Lancing, which is where Andy’s van is stored, was 39 hours. Splitting the driving made this a much less painful experience than it sounds!

The crossing time of 1hr 20m was a personal best for Andy! Then it was just a 15hr drive back to Dunkirk – except we discovered the legs from one of the hospital bed tables was still on the van! So, a quick diversion back to Weeze to leave it there to await Mike who also has some of Frank’s aid to collect on Run 22.

All that really remained was the shortish trip from there to the Ferry and then home.

Some final thoughts from both Andy & Tony on what has been another successful run.

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