Drive for Ukraine

Transport and fast deliveries from UK for Ukraine;
voluntary transport goes December 2023/24
initially just my own vehicle and resources, plus raising some funds and help from friends, to do our small part to help.

For help with warming items and kit to take, see: Drive for Ukraine support
it is really greatly appreciated anything you can also help with.
Thank you very much – Steve Hotson

Drive for Ukraine – is my aim to assist with directly driving, aid, awareness and anything we can do to help with transport for aid and the local people. This is ongoing into 2024, so please get in touch if you’re interested to help, drive, or raise funds and awareness. My Gogetfunding/driveforUkraine page remains open – as I hope to also do another aid and toy run in 2024.

drive vehicle

There’s an ongoing need for road transport to and within Ukraine

* November / December 2023; it appears that there’s large numbers of trucks and vehicles stuck and facing significant delays around the Ukrainian borders. Including hundreds of Ukrainian truckers/ drivers who are stranded by the borders, waiting to return back to Ukraine.
* see trip update, Dec 2023, below for more on this, as I experienced things first hand.

I can combine delivering some our items to both an official collection point, by the border, as well as provide some items and assistance directly to those stranded drivers, helping them, whilst also getting certain items onto a truck heading the right direction!

After this next drive to Ukraine, I will start to work towards helping with more aspects of future transport needs, both for delivering aid and kit, vehicle / moto related projects, as well as assisting other people and entities who are involved getting things to Ukraine and hopefully eventually with some re-building and re-housing of people who were forced to flee under duress.

Fast drive out to Ukraine in; mid Dec 2023, taking lighter, more urgent items, some packages and warming things for Ukrainians from here in UK – I can help deliver fast to Ukraine.

Items we can all help donate and send there quickly;

  • warm clothing, hats, gloves, warm thermal socks
  • waterproofs, coats, trousers
  • Boots, sturdy shoes (space limited)
  • thermos flasks.
  • Children toys

    December 2023 update;
  • What’s apparent is the immense task of continuously funding and organising ongoing transport across to the Poland / Ukraine border region. Once at a local warehouse, they have some good logistics to move goods onwards into and through Ukraine. i.e several small vans and volunteer transport.
  • From my own small glimpse of the challenges they all face, I can see that continuing to hold peoples attention in terms of what’s needed logistically, is a huge challenge. I think that people just driving over there, with what-ever support you can muster, is all really well received and appreciated.
  • Flow of transport to and through borders; this was something I wanted to see for my own eyes, what looks to be happening with distrupted transport, border flow, trucking back-log. I drove up to 2 border crossings, the first at Shehyni  appears the main transit for the large lorries. That isn’t physically blocked. There were no signs of road blocks. I spoke with police right on the border, there was no major issues reaching the border. I was able to drive freely right up to and join the short border queues, (noting it much shorter than when I’d passed that border several times, pre-war, summer time – it used to be very congested) now; the trucks all appear to be getting stacked up well away from the border, through multiple side roads, villages, expressways and truck stops, i’d say spreading out 60-70 km away from the border.
  • There’s a huge amount of lorries and goods being held up, well away from the border. Mainly Ukrainian plated lorries, but also quite a few Polish one’s amongst them. For me, that was a big frustration, knowing what we know, it appeared more political, and or border bureaucracy driven, than anything like a polish blockade. I drove around say 100km all around those border regions and didn’t see any physical road blockades by Polish people or lorries. Just literally a handful of people with flags alongside the border, but they were well away from the road and weren’t preventing anyone from driving by. Maybe they place a limit on how many trucks can drive by? it’s hard to see how just a handful of protestors could cause any meaningful block-aid or delay.
  • It’s created a really grim additional scenario for those Ukrainian drivers, it’s literally freezing cold and many are parked up with no facilities, on rural roads, run out of food and or the capability to get or make hot food.
  • Again – local aid guys were doing an immense amount to directly help those affected drivers, literally spending hours preparing and making big vats of hot food and then doing their best to deliver it to some of the stranded groups of drivers in the evenings. I’m sure a big help, as I saw it myself
  • What was apparent (and surprised me a bit) was the vast scale and variety of transport and goods that are potentially flowing to and from Ukraine through those borders, by road haulage. (were they not disrupted)
  • There’s a lot of fuel tankers, not sure which way they were delivering the fuel?
  • Also various trucks delivering various industrial products out from Ukraine, into Europe. (then getting stranded on the return leg)
  • The other border, a little further north, looked a less commercial. I was actually waved through to approach the Polish exit customs quite quickly! and almost entered their customs and border procedure. No doubt it would still take a few hours on the Ukrainian side. Given lack of time and resource, I opted to stay on the Polish side. I’d imagine their own local small vans can cross in a few hours, either way, wasn’t any significant delays from what I saw. (given this probably changes immensely day to day) Trains were also running freely, I saw numerous freight trains. (actually got in a little bother from being in that region, close by the border!) but was addressed, as I’d gone there to also drop some of our donated clothes at another donation place, literally right on the border.
  • Some boxes of toys were sent by, DrivingAidtoUkraine, they were very well received and said to be going directly to Ukrainian orphanages. I was pleased that we were able to help get those out there in time for Christmas.
  • Perhaps we can help again with this next year – as it’s a really simple yet meaningful and impactful thing to do, bringing some good spirit to orphaned children.
  • Within Poland; I got a brief glimpse of the way the Ukrainian people are integrating into Poland. I stayed at a motel not to far from the border. The lady running that was Ukrainian. I spoke with other guests and travellers, there’s clearly a lot of Ukrainians working and settling within Poland. If handled sensitively, I’d imagine those two Nations can both benefit from that collaboration, there’s two vast Countries which can continue to grow their integration with Europe.
  • Hopefully UK also builds on these relationships and close proximity with Ukraine and the EU. 

DRIVE / RIDE FOR UKRAINE – Also aiming to assist some aid drives in 2024 – if anyone is interested, get in touch. They’ll be some basic route notes and suggested hotels you can use in region. Other than that, it’s a solo/free-style ride (or join up with 1 or 2 others) keep your costs low, keep it fast and simple. Ride or drive for a good cause, rather than just take a motorbike holiday tour, or European road trip next year, take a bike or car load of essential gear, drop it off, ride or drive back lighter – with pride for helping your fellow European citizens, showing support for their freedoms. Ultimately, the only way to grow and prosper in a safe world, is to work and live together with all our neighbours, east and west together.
Contact Steve

Regions and countries covererd to/from Ukraine including Slovakia / Poland borders.
France, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourge, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, UK, Poland

map eastern europe

Fast vehicles and transport available through these regions, for urgent aid / or assistance getting civilians out from Ukraine, or borders, to meet family members in these EU countries, (or to re-loacte where assistance has been offered)

If there’s a vehicle / or I am in region myself, I shall try to post it here with the dates and the locations, otherwise get in touch with me, Steve Hotson
If you’d also like to help, get in touch.

As I also look to complete the PressGo book, you will see it has a direct connection to my own family and how my own travels started, as well as the past 15 years of travelling to and through Ukraine. Fast car/van courier format to Ukraine (like how I started in the old days, motorbike couriering.

As motorbikers, we always had an instant connection with the people we met throughout Ukraine. When you pull up at the roadside, as we bikers know – you’re instantly in the community, people connect. So, perhaps we can pay something back of that kinship we always experienced. Ukrainians used lots of motorbikes, we shall see if there’s someway to help, even any riders who’d like to go and show their support, carry some small essential items, it should all be helpful.

For help with warm clothing, childrens toys and items to take, see: drive for Ukraine funding support
We aim to make another drive in 2024, so all contributions are always very well received. THANK YOU,
Steve Hotson

van driving to ukraine