Farmers step up a gear to help Ukraine

28 March 2023

A farmer with soldiers in Ukraine

East Anglian farmers are being urged to donate used or unwanted pick-ups to help Ukrainians fighting Russia’s invasion.

NFU member Tony Parr, who farms near Lakenheath, is part of the Pick-ups for Peace initiative, which aims to supply 100 farm pickups, plus additional vital aid, to Ukraine by the end of May.

Founded by Vince Gillingham, Mark Laird and Alastair Stewart of Central Plains Group (CPG) farming operation, Pick-ups for Peace has delivered about £170,000 worth of potatoes, food, blankets and supplies, which are channelled through the 24th Lviv Danylo Separate Mechanized Brigade.

Vince said: “More recently, it’s become apparent that Ukraine is in desperate need of trucks – not just for active fighting, but to enable people to move around, to take injured people away from the front line, and to get food and medicine to the front line.”

So far more than 65 vehicles have been donated, with 22 vehicles already in eastern Ukraine. The remaining 45 vehicles will be delivered by farmers across the UK within a month.

Vince added: “People like Tony are doing a sterling job. Farmers should be proud about what they are doing during a critical time for Ukraine.”

Tony said: “I am involved in the CPG business in Ukraine, along with Vince.

“We delivered 10 lorry loads of humanitarian aid in the first few weeks of the war, with volunteers, and then I became involved with Pick-ups for Peace and I’m incredibly enthusiastic about it.

“The welcome, dedication and resolve of the people of Ukraine is something I’ve never experienced before.

“It would be good to see more farmers from East Anglia getting involved, especially as many people at the front have farming backgrounds.

“If they can’t afford to help with a vehicle, or the other things we need, there’s always a JustGiving page where they can donate towards our costs.”

You can find out how to get involved here, or email [email protected].

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