A Nantwich estate agent has appealed for help amid a series of trips he is making to Ukraine to deliver humanitarian aid.
Gary Fear, from Butters Bee Estate Agents in the town, went to Ukraine in April where he spent four days delivering vital food and medical supplies to refugees fleeing the conflict.
He felt compelled to help after the Russian invasion, having previously visited Ukraine before the conflict.
Now he is hoping to raise more funds for two people to go back to Poland to provide more food and supplies to displaced Ukrainians.
Gary (pictured above, second left) has been liaising with a friend Igor Bodnarchuk, who he met in Ukraine a few years earlier.
“Until Russia invaded, he was a tour guide in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone,” said Gary, who managed to raise £7,000 in about 10 days for his first humanitarian trip on April21.
“Igor met us at Krakow and we went shopping, spending more than £1,500 and filling the minibus!”
They drove to Jaroslaw, near the Ukrainian border, and the next day after a three hour wait, they crossed into Ukraine.
They travelled on to Lviv and took food to people in apartment buildings.
“They were so grateful they insisted that all stayed for food.
“It’s amazing that these people who had nothing felt they had to feed the people bringing aid!”
Gary then drove to Ternopil where they visited a church that feeds around 200 refugees a day and at night, they pile the pews up and arrange mattresses on the floor for people.
“It’s an incredible place and we dearly wanted to help them,” he added.
“The church staff gave us a list of the essentials they needed.
“Later, we went to a missionary refuge, emptied the minibus and filled their large hallway with food.”
On day three they went on another large shopping expedition and were able to fill the church stockroom, enough food to feed 200 people a day for around two weeks.
“We also visited two schools where many people were sleeping eight or ten to a classroom, on mattresses, on floors and all have lost their homes and belongings.
“This was perhaps the most emotional time of the trip where people cried just to see the food that has been brought.
“Small children even gave away the cakes that their parents had made for the important Easter celebrations just to say thank you.”
Gary hopes to return to Ukraine on Thursday June 23.
If anyone can help and donate, funds can be dropped to him at Butters John Bee Estate Agents at 20 Beam Street in Nantwich, or donated at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gfukraine