Donated SUVs are heading from Scotland to Ukraine, to help support both the war effort and the citizens trying to go on with their lives.
Mark Laird, a farmer from Angus, and several other farms developed the Pickups 4 Piece program, to donate 4×4 vehicles to help out. (Pickups in Scotland aren’t trucks, they’re larger SUVs and work vehicles) They achieved their initial goal of 100 pickups, and are now aiming for 200 by the end of summer.
Laird runs farming businesses in Ukraine as well as Scotland, with over 100 employees in the war-hit country.
“We set out around Christmas time to get 100 trucks and we thought that was a real challenge.
“But we actually achieved the 100th pickup last month and the response has been really, really positive.”
Drivers from the latest trip, including Laird’s wife Luisa returned to the UK earlier this week. They transported 23 vehicles 1400 miles to Ukraine, taking the total to 137. Mark said that some members of his team had seen the vehicles in action.
“Quite clearly, from what we’re seeing and the stories we’re getting back, they’re making a difference.”
The donated SUVs, which each pass mechanical standards tests before the trip, are repainted in matte NATO green before being loaded up with humanitarian supplies. They’re handed over in Lviv, blessed by a priest, and put to use as rough-terrain ambulances and rescue vehicles.
Much of the spraying is being carried out by Ukrainian farm workers living in Angus.
They include Yuriy Maik, who explained: “P4P is a very big project. It helps Ukraine on a huge scale.
“I am very grateful to such people as Mark – but mostly to farmers who do not hold back and invest their money and their machinery.
“It’s a massive assistance to our Ukraine and our Armed Forces, a huge support.”
The donated SUVs have mostly been given by farmers in Scotland and northern England.