'There are thousands still out there'– Shrewsbury volunteer's plea for help to rescue Ukrainians

A volunteer who brought back a bus full of Ukrainian refugees is calling on Salopians to help save families devastated by war.

Eden Aid have been trying to fetch as many Ukrainians as they can
Eden Aid have been trying to fetch as many Ukrainians as they can

Shrewsbury estate agent Louise Knight has just returned from Poznan in Poland, where she took medical supplies and food on the way there, before bringing 27 people and five dogs back to the UK with a team from the charity Eden Aid.

Families and pets were brought back in minibuses

Her trip almost fell through, due to being let down at the last minute with a minibus. But thankfully, Shropshire bus company Longmynd Travel came to the rescue and lent a vehicle for the trip.

Families said tearful goodbyes to their loved ones, and some told tales of how their homes and villages had been obliterated by bombs.

It was an emotional experience for Louise, and now she is appealing for more people to help get Ukrainians out of their war-torn homeland.

The convoy brought back 27 people and five dogs

According to the most recent government figures, 104,000 Ukrainians have resettled in the UK.

There have been more than 200,000 visa applications made.

More than 62 per cent of Ukrainians who have applied for visas have had them accepted.

"There are thousands of them still out there," Louise said. "They've got their visas, they just need transport. The ones we met had to leave everything behind. All they had was what they had with them. Their homes and villages were completely destroyed.

"There are men in trenches with nothing to eat. One little boy was in tears on the phone to his dad, who is still there. His dad was trying to calm him down on the phone.

"We need more transport to get them out."

She added: "Kind hearted Longmynd Travel answered the last minute plea for a free nine-seater minibus to rescue refugees and their pets from Ukraine. They kindly donated the use of their minibus for free, not knowing anyone who was asking them.

"Their bus joined an all women-driven convoy of buses to rescue women and children from Kharkiv and Mariupol. The two ladies from Mariupol had spent six weeks with their dog Dasha hiding in the basement of the steelworks. Unimaginable. They are all now here, safe with their host families. Thank you Longmynd Travel, you were amazing.

"If anyone else reading this has a nine-seater minibus that can help out, please contact me. We have drivers, it is the vehicles we need. Eden Aid rely each week on companies donating the use of their vehicles to rescue refugees. There are still many thousands stuck in Ukraine that need rescuing."

Val Evans, from Longmynd Travel, said: "I received a call from Louise and she requested a minibus. She said someone had promised her one but they'd let her down. I thought it was for a good cause so I was happy to lend it."

Anyone who can help the Eden Aid appeal with vehicles, emergency supplies, fundraisers, rehoming refugees or driving, contact info@edenaid.org.

To find out more about the charity, visit edenaid.org

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