A FATHER and son duo will spend the run-up to Christmas driving across Europe with vital supplies for Ukrainian refugees.
They are appealing for Foresters to support them by donating to a list of essentials.
The pair are well-known in rallying circles and the initiative will see them driving 1,200 miles to the Ukrainian border.
Bob and Jason, of Winner Garage in Cinderford, will embark on what they are calling the Forest Run to Ukraine on Sunday, December 18.
The 2,400-mile round trip is expected to take four days.
The aid will go out on two vans and a race shuttle trailer with Neill Ricketts, of Longhope-base Versarien driving the other vehicle alongside Nigel Laughton.
The journey is being professionally organised and working with two charities ErMed and the Ukrainian Church of Gloucester.
Assisting Bob and Jason with logistics will be Cinderford RFC’s commercial manager Paul Willetts.
The team has also set up a JustGiving page with the aim of raising £10,000 to buy much-needed supplies in Poland.
Once the aid has been unloaded on the Ukrainian border the vehicles will be reloaded with food and dropped at two transit centres and an orphanage.
Paul Willetts said: “What Bob and Jason are doing is a marvellous gesture especially this time of year, these two have worked tremendously hard in recent weeks so I was only too pleased to get involved.
“The response we have had from people has been humbling to be honest, we just can’t thank businesses and individuals enough for the support we’ve received especially from the Ukrainian Church of Gloucester, it’s a mammoth logistical undertaking.
“All we ask is for people to give what they can afford or donate what they can, as every bit will bring a little light into these peoples’ lives, remember they never asked for or started this war. This trip isn’t about Bob, Jason or myself it’s all of us, the whole of the Forest of Dean and surrounding areas coming together to show these people they are not forgotten and people do care especially this time of year. ”
The priority list includes generators, torches, sleeping bags, hygiene products such as soap and shower gel, mother and baby items, sanitary products, first aid kits and bandages.
Items can be dropped off during business hours at Winner Garage, and Cinderford MG Valley Road, Calico Lambsquay Hotel, Court Farm Garage Littledean, Sharon Groves Hairdressers, Littledean and Cinderford Rugby Clubs.
The idea for the aid trip came after Bob and Jason saw the suffering being caused by the war in Ukraine on the news.
Jason said: “We came up with the idea and started to put the foundations in place.
“Then we realised this is a vast undertaking so we needed help and who was the best person to help us with the experience we needed, it was an easy decision so we rang Paul and were delighted he agreed to help instantly.”
To find out more about the trip visit the Forest Run to Ukraine Facebook page.
To donate cash visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fatherandsonsupportukraineatchristmas