Man near Banbury left humbled and amazed after trip to help Ukrainian refugees

"These refugees have lost everything. They've got nothing. They're need is greater than mine. If I can help, I will go help.”

Friday, 1st April 2022, 1:35 pm
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 3:18 pm

A man near Banbury has been left humbled and amazed after trip to help Ukrainian refugees.

Chris Rossi, an employee with Cherwell District Council who is from Woodford Halse, wanted to do something to help the Ukrainian people, and a friend put him in touch with the group UK 4 Ukraine.

Graham Hughes with the group invited Chris to go with him to the Ukrainian and Polish border to deliver medical supplies and help the refugees.

They took medical supplies, including a defibrillator and an oxygen convertor to the village of Medyka in Polish near the Ukrainian border.

After dropping off the supplies they picked up two young refugees, 20-year-old Alexandra and her 16-year-old cousin, Alex.

Chris said: "We reunited Alexandra with her mother in Dusseldorf in Germany. They were very grateful, and it was quite an emotional reunion.

"They had both been living with their grandmother in Kherson. It was one of the first places to fall. They managed to make it to the border. Their grandmother refused to leave her home."

Chris Rossi, who is a Cherwell District Council employee from Woodford Halse, and Graham Hughes with the group UK 4 Ukraine stand next to their van, which they had registered at the Humanitarian Aid Centre near the Ukrainian and Polish border.

The cousin's grandmother had encouraged them to go back to their mother.

Chris bought several bags of sweets and gave them away to children at the refugee camp near the Ukrainian border.

A few minutes afterwards a young girl, aged four or five, walked up to him and hugged his leg, and told him thank you in broken English. That small act of gratitude served as quite an emotional moment for Chris.

He said: "What amazes is how much they do with so little there."

Chris Rossi, who is from Woodford Halse, stands next to Doc Gordon Dingwall, who is holding the defibrillator which was delivered to the border by Chris and Graham Hughes.

Chris was blown away with how well people came together to help others at the humanitarian aid centre and the refugee camp.

He said: "The amazing thing about it, and what humbled me was watching all the different charities and people working together.

"It's an amazing and humbling experience watching all the people work together in such trying conditions. You've got people from every religion and ethnic background there, and they're all working as one entity to help.

"It was amazing to watch and be apart of it all."

Chris Rossi, who is a Cherwell District Council employee from Woodford Halse, and Graham Hughes, who started the group UK 4 Ukraine.

Chris left his home on Saturday March 26 and arrived back home around 2.30am Tuesday March 29 taking two days off work holiday for the trip.

He said: "As soon as I got home I was emotionally and physically shattered, but it was really worth it. I can't sit back and watch people suffer and do nothing. If I can help, I will go help. I saw it TV what was happening, and it broke my heart.

"I refuse to do nothing. I'm not going to go fight, but I will go help. I want to do more, and I want to keep going back and keep going back. But to be honest it's a team effort.

"Truly believe you have to get involved to make a difference.

"These refugees have lost everything. They've got nothing. They're need is greater than mine."

The group UK 4 Ukraine has launched a GoFundMe fundraising webpage to help cover the travel costs and cost of the supplies they're delivering. If you would like to donate you can use the following web link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-ukraine-with-graham-and-ciaran

For more information about the UK4 Ukraine charity and what they do see its website here: https://uk4ukr.com/