A GARDEN centre near Penrith has successfully delivered a support vehicle and an ambulance to Ukraine, despite a few hiccups on the way. 

The Pot Place, in Plumpton, has been routinely driving across European borders ever since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 following continuous donations being made by members of the public and various fundraising events. 

This will be their sixth medical vehicle convoy supplied to the ongoing conflict. 

Setting off on March 18, the team succumbed to a snapped drive belt in Germany, leaving them temporarily stranded. 

Having managed to resume their travels following repairs, the advice relayed by Polish associates was to circumvent entry into Poland.

This was due to protests by farmers, leading to the blockade of several borders and motorways.

After entering Poland a day late, close to the Czech Republic border, peers from Lviv EMS, the regional ambulance service played an instrumental role in facilitating the entry into Ukraine on March 22. 

The team remained overnight to meet their colleague Kateryna, who previously worked at The Pot Place, making the trip even more personal. 

Co-owner of the garden centre, Paul Thomas, said: "This time we stayed overnight in order to meet up with our staff member Kateryna who had travelled nearly as far as we had from her home in Kharkiv in the far east close to the Russian border.

"She has been home since Christmas and stays to support her husband and father-in-law who are both in the military.

"Unfortunately just before we arrived her city had been hit heavily by missiles, especially the power stations, so the electricity has been off most of the time since then.

"It was good to see her, but sad that she headed east when we were going west back to safety in Poland," Paul said. 

The recently equipped medical vehicles were dispatched immediately to frontline locations.

The vehicles contained over 300 12v power inverters, graciously donated by a customer.

The inverters proved to be invaluable to emergency services and military personnel, allowing them to operate a wide array of electronic devices using vehicle batteries.

The team remained undeterred and focused on their continued efforts.

Plans for their next campaign, aimed at financing an additional ambulance and two Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs), are now underway.

"So the fundraising begins again," Paul said. 

To find out more about The Pot Place's fundraiser, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/the-pot-place-ambulances-for-ukraine?utm_term=DwbzdQG3v