Hartlepool veteran vows to make another trip to Ukrainian border after successful donations drop off

A Hartlepool man is planning to travel across Europe again to deliver donations to people in Ukraine after a veterans’ team effort proved a success.

Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 11:34 am

Graeme Pattinson, from the West Park area of the town, was among a group of 12 veterans form East Durham Veterans Royal Marines, Light Infantry and Royal Signals who drove across Europe earlier this month to drop off donations for people in Ukraine.

The joint effort saw the veterans drive across the Netherlands and Germany before reaching Polish city Przemysl, near the border with Ukraine, in just over three days.

The group travelled 720 miles in one run and delivered medical supplies and sanitary products with one of the vehicles also loaded with body armours and helmets.

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From left to right Kevin Shaw, Carl, Andrew Camiss, Jay Fletcher, Steve Brooks, Graeme Pattinson, John Young, Ian Pearson, John Robinson , Polish helper, Joe Mcmahon, Chris Mchugh and another Polish helper at the drop off point.

Graeme, 54, has said this will not be his final journey to help.

He said: “Having been watching the news for the past weeks and witnessing the desperation of the Ukrainian people and given that I have a wealth of experience crossing Europe from my military career it was the obvious choice to put my skills into action."

Speaking of reaching their final destination, he added: “It was a bit of a relief. It was nice to meet the Polish people, who were also helping out.

"It was a joint effort. All supplies were supplied by NHS Seaton Delaval.

"They’ve still got 250 tonnes of supplies for volunteers to take over.”

Graeme spent five years working in the military after joining back in 1983.

He has urged people to continue helping Ukraine.

"You can’t get enough aid to them. It’s really important people keep going over,” said Graeme.

"This won’t be my last trip. I will be going again.”

He added: “It’s really important that we don’t Russia take this country over. You’ve go to help the people of Ukraine.”

Hartlepool has come together in support of war-torn Ukraine, with events showing solidarity and a number of donation points set up across the town.

The borough council also revealed in a recent meeting that the first first refugees from Ukraine will arrive this week.

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