Courier driver team go non-stop to Ukraine

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Sofya Samokhina and Natalia Calkam helping with our international appeal Sofya Samokhina and Natalia Calkam helping with our international appeal

Swift sent vehicle filled with toys & aid into the Ukraine war zone.

Adrian Smith, IOC fellow and ‘services to industry’ winner reports Swift Logistics Group sent a vehicle loaded with toys, sanitary products, sleeping bags, bandages and other crucial aid to Ukraine last week.

The vehicle arrived at the Korczowa-Krakovets border where its contents were transferred and taken directly into the war zone in Ukraine.



As news of the invasion of Ukraine began to break, Swift Group announced on social media that we intended to take a vehicle of surplus toys from the 2021 Louise Purton Christmas Toy appeal to the border between Ukraine and Poland. As the toys were donated to underprivileged children in West Berkshire, we sought donors’ approval before arranging the donation. The post gained unanimous support.

Sofya Samokhina, who lives in Thatcham and is originally from Omsk, Russia, saw the post and told her friend Natalia Calkam, who is from Ukraine, that there was a vehicle going to Poland. Natalia had collected a large number of donations and was trying to arrange for them to be taken into Ukraine itself. Natalia contacted Adrian Smith at Swift and asked whether he could help deliver crucial aid along with the toys. Natalia, whose family live in Kharkiv and are currently sheltering underground, explained to Adrian that the greatest need was not on the border but in Ukraine itself. She mentioned that she had contacts with Ukranian officials who could meet the vehicle on the Korczowa-Krakovets border and take the aid and supplies into the country.

As the gravity of the situation became more and more apparent, Adrian changed tack and, working with Sofya and Natalia, arranged for the delivery to be put back a week and to include aid for women and children as well as relevant (yet reduced levels) of toys. He offered a space to store the supplies and transport to move the goods from Natalia’s home to Swift’s regional site, where the shipment was prepared for despatch.

The vehicle was driven direct and non-stop in shifts by Adrian and Alex Rzadkoski, a Polish national and employee of Swift who volunteered to help. Alex’s local knowledge was a big advantage in Poland.

Adrian Smith, Swift CEO, says,

We believe that our international community in Berkshire matters. As a proud employer of many Eastern European people, we wanted to offer meaningful support to people in crisis. Our Polish driver and I will take a vehicle of donations from the Berkshire community and a Russian local resident supporting her Ukrainian friend. We believe this is a powerful example of how united our community is.