THE mayor of Liskeard has officially signed documents marking the twinning of Liskeard with a town in Ukraine. 

Cllr Simon Cassidy set off on December 17 alongside fellow town councillor David Braithwaite and Cornwall and Devon Sending Love To Ukraine. 

The team set off in a convoy of vans full of essential aid including blankets, clothing, food, baby food, animal feed, hospital supplies, sanitary products and Christmas presents. 

The aid also included comfort packs made up of socks, pants, a personal hygiene kit, hat, scarf, chocolates and sweets for front line workers. 

After 15 hours on the road, the team arrived in Duisberg, Germany where they spent the night.

The following day saw the convoy travel 392 miles towards Poznan in Poland where along the way they got stuck in a traffic jam along the autobahn.  

Darren Tait, founder of Cornwall and Devon Sending Love To Ukraine, spent time handing out chocolates and sweets to other drivers stuck on the roads. 

Before arriving in Poland, the team stopped off in Helmstedt – a famous checkpoint between the East and West during the days of the Cold War. 

After arriving, Cllr Cassidy took to social media to provide an update on his travels.

Ahead of the trip, Darren said: “Really looking forward to tomorrow when we will go east to deliver the aid to the Ukrainian team and just as importantly, we are really looking forward to meeting Bogdan Kelichavyi the mayor of Kopychyntsi where we will sign the official twinning documents between Liskeard and Kopychyntsi.”

On arrival in Warsaw, the convoy team were able to drop off all of the aid and supplies from the UK to the Ukrainian team.

The Ukrainian team is made up of volunteers who help to transport any donations made from Poland to the harder to reach areas in Ukraine. 

Cllr Cassidy explained: “The risk to foreign aid workers and foreign convoys is extremely high. As a result, we have a team of amazing Ukrainian and Polish volunteers who man a humanitarian hub in Warsaw.” 

The aid also included Christmas presents from people across Devon and Cornwall for children. 

“Huge thanks to everyone who donated - wish we could do more! I don’t think there’s a dry eye here on either side.” 

The final part of the day saw Cllr Cassidy travel to the Warsaw Marriot hotel to meet with the mayor of Kopychyntsi, Bogdan Kelichavyi, to sign the official documents which would twin the Cornish town with the Ukrainian town. 

After an emotional and historic few days, the team then set off on their travels home in time for Christmas. 

“We’re over 1,500 miles from Liskeard, so a big old journey to go over the next couple of days but it’s definitely been worth it and I’m definitely coming back as soon as I can to help these truly amazing people.”

Pictured here is some of the convoy team alongside Bogdan Kelichavyi, his wife and two members from the humanitarian hub in Warsaw at the signing
Pictured here is some of the convoy team alongside Bogdan Kelichavyi, his wife and two members from the humanitarian hub in Warsaw at the signing ( )

The journey home included a 500-mile, nine-hour drive back to West Germany and then to Poland, a 559-mile drive to Dunkirk to arrive at the ferry crossing, before embarking on the last leg — a 300-mile drive from Dover to Liskeard. 

Cllr Cassidy has thanked all those who have helped out including the Liskeard Lions and Scouts and Fern at Kid’s Clobber. 

Now home, the team are already looking ahead to the next trip. 

Cllr Cassidy said: “Next time we would appreciate a loan of a van (or vans if more people want to come) from a local based business as obviously it is a cost for the volunteers to have to hire their own van and pay for their own fuel, hotel and ferry. If anyone can help, they can contact me directly. 

“The group also need volunteers to help at the warehouse in Callington as well as help from people donating aid directly to them.

“Again, you can contact me or the Facebook page.”  To find out more and see what Cornwall and Devon Sending Love To Ukraine get up to, visit their website.