A Wiltshire man and his business partner are driving to the Ukraine border in a minibus to transport 15 refugees to the UK.

Jeremy Russon, 53, and Alan Walker, 44, set out on the 3,000-mile voyage on Sunday (July 31).

They will drive through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany to the Poland/Ukraine border where they will meet and collect several families who have gained visas for the UK via Wiltshire charity Trowbridge Homes for Ukraine.

Jeremy and Alan set out to raise £2,500 towards essential supplies for the new arrivals along with fuel and accommodation for the journey, but have more than doubled their target after friends, family and business connections got behind their appeal.

Jeremy and Alan founded Udder, an HR tech consultancy firm, in 2019. It was randomly named by Alan after he saw a cow on a TV advert.

Mr Russon, who lives in Staverton with his wife Debbie, said: “We’ve been watching the reports for the last few months and have been horrified. The stories are heart-breaking.

“It’s incredible to think how welcoming the UK has been – I think more than 60,000 Ukrainians are now living here now – but we wanted to do our bit. 

“I play football with Simon Beck, a local business owner, and he mentioned he had bought a minibus and was running relief trips alongside Trowbridge Homes for Ukraine. 

“I talked to Simon about driving and, originally, was planning the trip with my brother, who unfortunately had to drop out."

He added if it wasn't for the generosity of Alan's wife Sharon, in lending her husband, the trip wouldn't have gone ahead.

“We got the word out there online and were blown away by the response – we were nervous about whether or not we’d raise the initial £2,500 target but now we’re at more than £5,650," he said.

“Any surplus funds will go towards the next trip and helping other Ukrainian families settle in the UK.

"I did a number of trips like this back in the early 1990s to post-Ceausescu Romania, so have some idea of what to expect… but there is still a level of nervousness because what's happening in Ukraine is another level up.

“What pleases me is that we are part of a huge effort to give much-needed relief from the war to a small group of Ukrainians at a time of immense need.”

To support their trip, click here.