THE front page of last weeks Cornish Times had Liskeard's mayor, Cllr Simon Cassidy, admirably chronolising our epic journey across six countries with seven 3.5 tonne vans filled with medical and humanitarian supplies destined for the people of war-ravaged Ukraine.

We all hear about 'aid convoys' in the news but to actually be part of one delivering so much aid was not only personally fulfilling and satisfying but also somewhat intriguing.

Intriguing because there are some remarkable, humble, people involved who I feel do not get the recognition they deserve.

Part of my own motivation was to right that wrong using the airwaves of Liskeard Radio, and any other media source I could access, to shine a light on, and raise awareness of, what they are doing as well as recognising the support Simon and I had from our home towns of Looe and Liskeard.

But why do they do it?

It was a long and gruelling, caffeine-fuelled, service-station visiting, journey yet I travelled with 12 great individuals all of whom were prepared to raise funds to cover their own travel costs and who had been involved in many of the previous 18 trips organised by 'Sending Love To Ukraine'.

It was my first trip and I was immediately embraced as a family member without reservation. It felt like a mission shared.

Road conditions throughout Europe were, at times, nothing less than horrendous yet all seemed adept at putting these large right-hand drive vehicles through their paces on the opposite of the road without incident.

On our arrival at the depot in Warsaw (day three) we were cheered and greeted with genuine gratitude by a team of young Ukrainian people all of whom had their own tragic stories to tell and who loved us, and all those that donated the aid, for what we were doing for their people back home.

Every member of both teams put their backs into unloading each of our seven large vans onto pallets and trolleys before storing them in the huge warehouse unit. It was only then that we could allow ourselves time to have a meal and chat with our hosts.

I could, more easily, see the motivation of our hosts, they had lost family members and friends and many of their families still remained under the relentless aggression and bombardment of the Russian military.

At the meal we received small gifts of gratitude to mark our visit and without doubt they will remain treasured items for each of us.

Darren is the the organiser of SLTU, known as 'Red Leader' in the convoy. At times traffic on motorways, or the autobahns of Germany, would split the group which meant either Andrew David or Steve would step in to take, what I called, P1 and they were just great.

Cecile and Laura rode the 'nappy van' full of essential children and adult wear whilst Louise, Rachel, Will, Mark, James, Simon and myself completed what must have looked like an awesome line of vehicles.

The answer, I guess, is that in life there are people who think things should happen and others that actually make things happen. Individual motivations aside they were all firmly in the latter category as were our hosts...all of them exceptional people and should be recognised as such.

The Ukraine war is no longer headline news yet the fighting and devastation continues and without the likes of my new friends, who give their time and efforts freely, and the people of Devon and Cornwall who donate so readily, there would be no respite or cheer for those who have already lost so much.

If you feel you'd like to get involved in future trips just contact Darren Tait on 07930616264.

If you cannot and you'd like to help with the costs of this latest trip visit: