NFU Cymru member delivers aid to Ukrainian border

26 April 2022

We Are Welsh Farming
Llyr Jones on his farm in Denbighshire with his cattle behind him.

An NFU Cymru member delivered vital food and medical supplies to support people affected by the war in Ukraine as part of a near 4,000-mile round aid mission to the Ukrainian border.

Llyr Jones from Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, near Corwen, in north Wales, worked with friends and family to coordinate the charitable effort, which saw over £24,000-worth of aid delivered to support the victims of the ongoing conflict.

Supported by a group of six friends, Llyr and the group drove three vehicles packed with supplies to two spots along the border.

Among the small convoy was a Land Rover Llyr had purchased to donate to support Ukrainian farmers, along with a trailer kindly supplied by Corwen-based company Ifor Williams Trailers.

The group departed north Wales at around 6pm on Thursday 10 March stopping at Carrefour wholesalers in Dunkirk to collect the supplies before heading on to the Ukrainian border. The party arrived safely back in north Wales at around 10am on Monday 14 March.

Llyr, the winner of this year’s Meurig Raymond Award at the NFU Conference, explained that he’d felt compelled to support the people of Ukraine after watching the war unfolding in the media. Given he’d had previous experience in carrying out long-distance charity missions in Africa a decade before, Llyr felt he was well placed to make a difference.

He said: “I’d noticed that people were taking clothes to central collection points, which obviously is very kind, but I knew that it was food that was needed. When you’re escaping a war in 12-24 hours’ time you’re not necessarily worried about what coat you’re wearing – you’re worried about where your next meal is coming from.

“Over the course of a week the idea really did snowball and before we knew it, we had £24,000 in donations. I was really touched that ahead of us leaving for Ukraine we’d had ladies driving to the farmyard to donate £20 because they’d heard what we were doing. The people at the wholesaler were incredibly generous too as they donated a whole pallet of food to add to the £8,000 of food we’d already purchased.”

When the Welsh group reached the Ukraine border, they were surrounded by people from all over Europe giving donations to support those affected and displaced by the war.

"It was nice, because although no-one could fully understand one another, it felt like all of Europe was coming together to help each other."

Llyr Jones

Llyr said: “We were unloading the goods for around four hours and everyone there was helping each other. It was nice, because although no-one could fully understand one another, it felt like all of Europe was coming together to help each other.

“It was a relief to unload the last pallet and be on our way home knowing everyone was safe. I didn’t do anything heroic. It was those at home who did the organising and logistics that deserve the credit - sorting the paperwork and itemising the itineraries for the medical equipment. All I did was drink way too much coffee and eat too much Haribo to deliver the stuff! I also realise I was so lucky to be in a position to help, because I knew the farm was in safe hands.

“I think what the group has achieved over the course of eight days in terms of the planning, receiving £24,000 of donations and then delivering that aid to the border, is pretty amazing.”

Podcast

Listen to Llyr speaking about his aid delivery.

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