Wiltshire charity minibus driver brings refugees to the UK


A man has driven 4,820 km (3,000 miles) in his minibus to bring 17 Ukraine refugees to the UK.

Wiltshire driver Jeremy Russon set out on 31 July on behalf of the charity Homes for Ukraine, based in Trowbridge.

The group is dedicated to bringing Ukrainian Citizens across Europe to the safety of the UK.

Mr Russon said it was "heart-wrenching" having to watch families part, including witnessing a man saying goodbye to his daughters.

"The bombs had started falling in their next village. He basically said 'you've got to go'.
"He drove them across the border to meet us, pretty much took their suitcases out of the car and turned around and drove back into Ukraine to defend his village."
Mr Russon drove through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany before getting to the Poland-Ukraine border where they met and collected several families who had gained visas for the UK.

The charity has so far helped and transported 167 Ukraine refugees find a safe place to live in the UK.

Trowbridge homes for Ukraine charity member Phil Smith said the refugees "squeeze their lives" in to the van with them when they get picked up.

"They squeeze in their photographs, their clothes, whatever else they can take. They're squeezing in gifts for everybody as well for the drivers and for their hosts."

Mr Russon said he is now planning another trip to help more Ukrainians fleeing the war.