Hartlepool veteran praises town after returning from final Ukraine trip

A veteran has thanked the people of Hartlepool for their generosity after returning from his final trip delivering supplies to Ukraine.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 5:37 pm

Graeme Pattinson, 54, has travelled four times across Europe delivering medical supplies to the war-torn country since March.

During his latest trip in May, he also helped transport a 61-year-old-woman who had been living underground for weeks from Ukraine to England and delivered four tons of dog food donated by Hartlepool residents.

"You feel you’re making a difference. Although it’s a small contribution to the country, if everybody did a little bit, it would make things much easier for people,” said Graeme.

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Graeme during his trip to Lviv in April.

He has praised Hartlepool’s response after four tons of dog food were donated in just over a week after he started raising awareness about starving animals in Ukraine following a trip to the city of Lviv in April.

Donations from Poolie Time Exchange also helped an Ukrainian family who had fled Mariupol to complete their journey to England.

"Hartlepool people have been so, so generous, and I can’t stress that enough,” said Graeme.

"It’s a big team effort, it’s not just me doing it. It’s everybody in the town, coming together, providing food, providing money and then putting it together and helping people.”

Over £2,000 raised by Hartlepool residents was also donated to two dog shelters in Ukraine during the journey.

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Saying that the town’s response has been ‘amazing’ he added: “I can’t thank people enough for that.”

The veteran, who worked for five years in the military back in the 1980s, has described his time in Ukraine as emotional and has added this may be his last trip to the country ‘for the time being’.

"I’ve done four, I’ve done my bit. I’m hoping now I’ve inspired other people to move forward and for them to do the same things now.

"I won’t rule out another journey in the future, but for the time being, I need a break,” he said.

Graeme first dropped off medical supplies to Ukraine in March when he drove over to the Polish city of Przemysl.

"The things you see do affect you and you need to step back. It’s traumatising,” added Graeme.

If you’d like to volunteer driving supplies, contact Graeme on [email protected]