Huthwaite haulier 'overwhelmed' by human kindness and community spirit in Ukraine appeal and son's epic drive to help

A Huthwaite haulier says he has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the ‘depth of human kindness’ and ‘united community spirit’ after a huge response to help refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 6:02 pm

Alan Taylor, managing director of Taylor’s Transport, of Export Drive, Huthwaite, says it has been an ‘emotional journey’ since his firm stepped up to offer to deliver donated humanitarian aid in a truck driven by his son.

Events snowballed after a massive reponse to the Mansfield and Ashfield appeal – led by Polish-born Bogusia Kavanagh, of Berry Hill, Mansfield – resulted in enough donations to fill not one, but seven Taylor’s trucks.

Alan’s son, championship truck driver Mark Taylor, and relief driver Peter Taylor, no relation, were the first to take the much-needed cargo.

Emotional farewell on Sunday as Mark taylor says goodbye to four year old son Maddox as he leaves on the 1300 mile journey to Poland tpo deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine on Sunday.

They left on Sunday, to cheers and applause, for the 1,300 mile journey to Bogusia’s hometown of Zamosc, close to the Ukraine border, and where they have since witnessed some ‘moving scenes’.

Two more trucks and a van left yesterday, Tuesday, and four more are planned to go in the coming week, while Mark and Peter are on their way home and due to arrive in Huthwaite on Friday.

In a recent message home they said: “Arrived Zamosc, Tuesday, 3pm local time, great reception and a large team of Polish people transferred our donations onto another trailer within 90 minutes which is being taken 60 miles inside the Ukranian border at 3am tomorrow, directly to the refugees, who are waiting up to five days in sub-zero temperatures for transport into Poland.

“We were taken to a school and refugee reception centre in Zamosc, moving sights and something you don’t expect to see in a civilised world. We left after only 3.5 hours in Zamosc for the long trip home.

Mark Taylor driver and relief driver Peter Taylor

“For all those who donated and helped, you should be feeling as proud as we are.”

Alan said “It’s a long way and they have seen some moving sights, but they’re in good spirits and are relieved they’ve done it. This week has been an emotional journey for them and us – the family will be glad when they’re back.

“I’m pleased they have done it. We know what to expect now and can assist other trucks or vans navigate the situation. We have a template for the paperwork which is very complicated, but we can share a template with people if they need it, just contact us.

“The aid the lads took ended up going directly into Ukraine, it was unloaded on to another lorry in Poland.

The truck arrived on the Polish border

“One thing that struck them on the journey, was the military presence by British and Americans, personnel and equipment. You don’t see that on the news.”

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Thanking people for their donations, Alan asked them to stop, for the time being.

The route the truckers took to Poland

“The response has been unbelievable, this week has been hard work, but rewarding.” he said.

“It’s almost brought me to tears, seeing the kindness and community spirit, just spectacular, we’ve been united as a local community. It makes you realise there is more kindness in the world than bad.

“Thank you everyone for everything, but we ask hold fire for now.

“This Sunday we plan another sorting, for the last trailer, expected to go by the back end of next week.”

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The aid which was unloaded onto another truck in Poland
The Taylors Transport Truck delivering the aid to Poland
Some of the vast amount of aid gathered at the Taylors Trasnport Huthwaite Depot
Just some of the vast amount of aid that arrived at Taylor's Transport depot and volunteer helpers packing and sorting