The British-Ukrainian Aid organization operates in London, it supports people in Ukraine affected by the war and the humanitarian crisis. The foundation, created by Ukrainians, also provides support to orphans, internally displaced persons, the elderly, and the wounded.
British-Ukrainian Aid is fully funded by voluntary contributions. The fund collects aid to Ukraine, including generators, food, medicine, clothing for military and civilians.
The British-Ukrainian Aid fund responded to the 24 Channel's request for assistance to the 24th brigade. The organization bought a Ford Ranger with its own funds for our defenders, so that they could save their brothers from the hell of war.
History of creation the British-Ukrainian Aid
Co-founder of the British-Ukrainian Aid fund Bohdan Bolonnyy said that the organization started to work since the Euromaidan in 2014.
At that time, London was probably the only city outside of Ukraine where local activists organized a 24/7 picket in front of the Prime Minister's office. That’s what Mr. Bohdan mentioned in a comment on Channel 24.
According to him, the activists gave an impetus to British politicians so they could make steps for the victory of the Revolution of Dignity.
"That's when we understood that we need to create a formal structure, a legally registered charitable organization, so that we can engage in a wider range of activities," said the volunteer.
Bohdan Bolonnyy / Photo Facebook Bohdan Bolonnyy
Over time, some of the activists continued to volunteer at British-Ukrainian Aid, including Bohdan Bolonnyy. After inspections and registration, the organization received a license.
We conducted various projects. In particular, during the anti-terrorist operation, we took aid to Mariupol, Druzhkivka, and orphanages. We concentrated on the medical component, helped hospitals with medical equipment, trainings, etc. – said Bohdan.
Now British-Ukrainian Aid performs medical and humanitarian aspects. The organization helps paramedics to evacuate the wounded.
"We have already provided thousands of NATO-style first-aid kits for the Ukrainian military. Now we also supply evacuation vehicles. At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, I personally drove the vehicles to Mykolaiv and Dnipro," the volunteer noted.
How the organization transfers aid to Ukraine
Bohdan notes that Ukraine and Britain work synchronously on the issue of cars. The reason is that vehicles in Britain are right-hand drive, so the market for them is quite limited.
On January 16, the organization purchased three more vehicles in Wales and is preparing to send them to Ukraine. During the past holidays, British-Ukrainian Aid reported the purchase of 30 cars.
Bohdan Bolonnyy says that the foundation bought 60 cars over the past three months. In total about one hundred and fifty vehicles have already been sent to Ukraine thanks to the volunteers.
Where do volunteers get money from?
Bohdan Bolonnyy said that British-Ukrainian Aid has donors from all over the world. In particular, the organization is known in Britain.
We were the top charity organization for helping Ukraine on platforms like JustGiving, said the volunteer.
According to him, everyone in the organization volunteers for free, using their free time. He suggests that this may be why people prefer British-Ukrainian Aid to, for example, The British Red Cross.
Photo 24 Channel
Bohdan confirmed that the British people are quite indifferent. In particular, the organization has British volunteers who were interested in helping Ukraine and even transported cars across the border.
In total, about 7-10 people actively work in British-Ukrainian Aid – they are all Ukrainians who ended up in Britain for various reasons. In addition, British-Ukrainian Aid cooperates with the London Euromaidan organization.
The London Euromaidan organization is an informal movement of volunteers that started protests and pickets, and now it is there where the British massively bring aid to Ukraine. However, Mr. Bohdan admits that local Ukrainians probably help a little more.
A Ukrainian volunteer traveled 2,000 kilometers to help defenders
A 66-year-old Ukrainian volunteer, Igor Sterniychuk, who joined British-Ukrainian Aid, drove the pickup truck from London to Kyiv. The man covered about 2,000 kilometers to help Ukrainian defenders.
Mr. Igor ended up in London in April 2022, when full-scale Russian aggression was already underway in Ukraine. In a comment to Channel 24, he said that his daughter has been living in London for 15 years.
Igor Sterniychuk / Photo 24 Channel
Once in Britain, Mr. Igor did not forget about Ukraine, but began to contribute to the victory and defense of Ukraine.
When I came to London, I became interested in volunteer organizations. It was at the Ukrainian House, where volunteers work, I found out about the British-Ukrainian Aid organization – said Mr. Igor.
In April Igor got in touch with volunteers who work with cars for our defenders.
How cars from Britain end up in Ukraine
Currently, Bohdan Bolonnyy deals with cars for Ukraine at British-Ukrainian Aid, who bought them at auction or directly from the owner.
Sometimes a dozen cars were bought at once. At first, we used an auction in Wales, from where we drove cars to London, said Igor.
Humanitarian aid was also loaded into cars in the British capital. In particular, products, military clothing, clothing for civilians. Mr. Igor says that the British bring this help to the warehouse for free. Afterwards, the cars are sent to Ukraine with help.
"Some cars go to Ukraine on their own, and they are also often loaded onto trucks. Mostly cars go to Lviv, where they are picked up and transported to the frontline," said a volunteer from Ukraine, adding that not only pickups are bought at the auction, but also emergency vehicles and vans.
How they decided to drive a car for the 24th brigade
Mr. Igor said that his friend, Mykhailo Tyvkun, offered to help the 24 Channel Foundation, and therefore the 24 Brigade. After that, he started looking for a car and turned to Bohdan Bolonnyy from British-Ukrainian Aid to get a vehicle.
I asked Bohdan if he could get a car for me from among those he was buying. He replied that he could not, because the vehicles were allocated in advance. But Bohdan offered to find a car and promised to pay for it. I agreed, especially since at the auction you, as they say, buy a cat in a sack. Some vehicles did not ride well, on some the bridges needed to be changed. Some write about car malfunctions, and some don't – said Igor.
He recalled that he went to private sellers and picked up a good car - a Ford Ranger with only 100,000 miles on it. Igor explains that this is a rare find, because this mileage is very small for such cars.
Photo 24 Channel
Ihor found an ad about Ford Ranger on Facebook and immediately went to get the car with his daughter.
"During the purchase, we said that we were buying a car in Ukraine. I told the seller that it was important that the car was in good condition, because the military needed it. The Englishman said that he was happy to help," the volunteer said.
The Ford Ranger is already on its way to the Europe's frontline to save lives.
How 24 Channel Foundation helps the Armed Forces
- 24 Channel Foundation, which was founded back in 2014, continues to support and help Ukrainian soldiers who defend our Ukraine at the frontline.
- The collection for thermal imagers was recently completed. In 7 days thanks to the indifferent people we collected a huge amount of cash and now 10 thermal imagers will go to our defenders from the 24th brigade near Bakhmut.
- Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we have already held more than 20 fundraisings, which, thanks to your help, were quickly closed. So a sniper sight and silencers, drones, an SUV, a charging station, walkie-talkies, a generator and much more went to the front.
- There are also members of our team at the frontline, who are restraining the russian invaders. So far, 24 Channel Foundation is raising money for two causes – one for 66th SMB, and the other for "Mavick drones" for 95th AAB.