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Medical supplies

Surbiton charity helps British-Ukrainian woman deliver medical supplies

A Surbiton charity has loaned its van to a British-Ukrainian woman to help deliver emergency medical supplies to the front line in Ukraine.

After a van hire mix-up, Olga Proto had no vehicle to transport boxes of supplies for Ukraine from Cheam to a collection point in Dover.

She got in touch with the Save The World charity in Surbiton, and the charity’s officials then secured her on their van.

Thanks to the secretary and administrator of the charity Tariq Shabbeer, Olga was able to get vital resources, including Israeli bandages, special tourniquets and catheters, to the border.

Olga, whose parents were once refugees, explained: “My mother is 93 and cried saying, ‘I never thought this would happen again in my country.’

“All that’s happening now is what she saw when she was 11 – the same mass graves.

“Something she never thought she would see again in her lifetime.

“Tariq and Paul from the association were absolutely brilliant.

“They really saved the day.

“I was able to load the van with essential aid for Ukraine and bring it to Dover.”

The medical kit was donated by the public and St Heliers Hospital.

Tariq said: “Olga was really stuck so she came to see us and luckily we were able to help her.

“This is the second delivery to Ukraine that we have supported.”

The supplies crossed the Polish border and were delivered to a convent in Ukraine – with whom Olga has had ties since 2014.

According to Olga, the nuns then distribute the supplies to those who need them most.

Olga has also brought four members of her family to the UK via the government’s new Ukrainian Family Scheme and is very passionate about helping those still suffering in the country.

Her husband paid hundreds of pounds every two months to transport the goods to Ukraine.

Joan J. Dean

The author Joan J. Dean