Caravans could be shipped from Gloucester Docks to Ukraine to help victims of the country’s ongoing conflict, thanks to a new appeal.
The Caravans for Peace appeal has been launched by Dr Warren Leigh, who works in Churchdown, and his wife Tania, asking people to spare their unused caravans to help those in Ukraine who have been forced out of their homes by the conflict.
They are aiming to provide shelter for the displaced people as winter approaches in Ukraine, where temperatures could drop as low as -30C.
The appeal was launched two weeks ago after Tania visited Ukraine.
So far two caravans have been pledged with the Leighs also keen to hear from a landowner able to give up some space to keep the homes before they are shipped abroad.
The pair are also asking the Ukrainian Embassy for help in providing a barge to transport the caravans, and for potential co-ordinators of the project to get on board.
Warren said: “The situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the day, and it is something that really affects me emotionally, so I want to do all I can to help.
“In Ukraine come September the weather changes dramatically, and we want to provide shelter for people’s whose homes have been destroyed. There are some people living in cellars or in tin sheds, which is not right.
“Caravans will provide warmth and security to those people in the winter months, and also will allow them to stay in the communities they’ve become a part of.”
Every day more than 1,000 people flee from the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine.
The appeal is asking for help to deliver caravans of any size to Ukrainian Docks such as Odessa.
Caravans for Peace also hopes to supply portable gas and potentially fit the caravans with solar panels.
They are primarily looking for people who can supply caravans, but are also accepting financial donations to help deliver the mobile homes and get them to the locations where they are needed.
Warren said: “These are innocent people who are suffering, and I hope this will appeal to people in Gloucestershire who have to live in caravans following the floods.
“When you get so involved with an issue like this you begin to come up with practical solutions, and caravans were the only solution we could see.”
Alex Pennington, director of Golden Castle Caravans(corr)in Churchdown, has pledged to give a caravan to cause along with Christopher and Sylvia Edmunds from Barnwood.
He said: “It’s a really worthwhile cause. It’s our field of expertise so we are more than happy to lend our support and help get the appeal off the ground.”
To find more about the appeal visit caravansforpeace.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.