Woodford Halse man's mercy mission to help victims of Ukraine conflict

‘These refugees have lost everything. They’ve got nothing’

By Lucie Green
Monday, 11th April 2022, 1:29 pm

A Woodford Halse man has been on a mercy mission to help Ukrainian refugees.

Chris Rossi wanted to do something to help the Ukrainian people, and a friend put him in touch with the group UK 4 Ukraine.

He joined Graham Hughes and together they went to the Ukrainian and Polish border to deliver medical supplies and help the refugees.

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Chris and Graham with medical supplies for refugees.

After dropping off the supplies they picked up two young refugees, 20-year-old Alexandra and her 16-year-old cousin, Alex.

Chris said: "We reunited Alexandra with her mother in Dusseldorf in Germany. They were very grateful, and it was quite an emotional reunion.

"They had both been living with their grandmother in Kherson. It was one of the first places to fall. They managed to make it to the border. Their grandmother refused to leave her home."

Chris bought several bags of sweets and gave them away to children at the refugee camp near the Ukrainian border.

The friends help people in Ukraine.

A few minutes afterwards a young girl, aged four or five, walked up to him and hugged his leg, and told him ‘thank you’ in broken English. That small act of gratitude served as quite an emotional moment for Chris.

He said: "What amazes is how much they do with so little there."

Chris was blown away with how well people came together to help others at the humanitarian aid centre and the refugee camp.

He said: "The amazing thing about it, and what humbled me was watching all the different charities and people working together.

Chris and Graham took time out to help desperate people.

"It's an amazing and humbling experience watching all the people work together in such trying conditions. You've got people from every religion and ethnic background there, and they're all working as one entity to help.

"It was amazing to watch and be a part of it all."

Chris left his home on Saturday March 26 and arrived back home around 2.30am Tuesday March 29 taking two days of annual leave for the trip.

He said: "As soon as I got home I was emotionally and physically shattered, but it was really worth it. I can't sit back and watch people suffer and do nothing. If I can help, I will go help. I saw it TV what was happening, and it broke my heart.

"I refuse to do nothing. I'm not going to go fight, but I will go help. I want to do more, and I want to keep going back and keep going back. But to be honest it's a team effort.

"Truly believe you have to get involved to make a difference.

"These refugees have lost everything. They've got nothing. Their need is greater than mine."

The group UK 4 Ukraine has launched a GoFundMe fundraising webpage to help cover the travel costs and cost of the supplies they're delivering. If you would like to donate you can use the following web link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-ukraine-with-graham-and-ciaran

For more information about the UK4 Ukraine charity and what they do see its website here: https://uk4ukr.com/