A Gloucestershire group recently dispatched their 36th aid lorry to Ukraine from Bourton-on-the-Water.

The aid, including much-needed generators, arrived earlier this month in Lviv.

The venture began in March 2022 by Bourton Vale Equine Clinic's clinical director, Polish-born Greg Staniek, and his wife Lorraine.

They've received backing from local residents, the Gloucestershire trail hunting community, national supporters, local businesses, and members of the North Cotswold Rotary Club, where the couple are members.

The lorries were notably packed with small generators, specifically purchased by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) for field vets, and a pick-up truck for casualty transportation from the frontline to field hospitals.

One lorry also carried a large hospital generator, funded by money raised through the North Cotswold Rotary Club.

Volunteers, including several members of the Heythrop Hunt Club, have donated goods and their time to assist in loading the lorries.

Cotswold Journal: Volunteers who helped pack one of the lorries

Lorraine Staniek said: "Greg initially put out an appeal on the practice Facebook page and donations came rolling in.

"It was quite overwhelming at first.

"Since we began, the community has really backed us, and it’s grown into something I could never have imagined."

In addition to providing aid from Bourton-on-the-Water, the volunteer teams have organised the shipment of eight lorries loaded with aid from a warehouse in Poland.

Key to the group's efforts has been Liz Wills, former joint ex-master of Heythrop Hunt, recognised by North Cotswold Rotary Club with the 'Community Champion' award, and Lorraine Staniek, who won the 'Champion of Change' award.

Liz Wills said: "The scale of the operation now is massive.

"It’s only possible through incredibly generous donations from our community.

"We were inundated with offers of supplies and help from our trail hunting community."

The group is now requesting donations for Christmas shoeboxes to provide to children and families affected by the conflict.

Loraine Staniek added: "We sent 300 boxes last year to refugee children in southern Poland and an orphanage in Ukraine.

"This year, we’re aiming to provide 1,000 boxes."

Donations for the Ukraine Christmas Appeal can be made through the North Cotswold Project Lifeline account.