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First Bus donates two buses to take medical aid across Europe into Ukraine to the cities of Kiev and Lviv

  • Two buses donated by First Bus to carry medical aid to Ukraine.
  • Wellglade Group donates supplies, parts, and fuel.

Two buses departed First South Yorkshire's Olive Grove depot in Sheffield on Wednesday 16th August to start a journey down to Plymouth. On arrival they were fully loaded up by the Plymouth Ukraine Medical Aid Group (PUMA) with medical aid for distribution across two locations in Ukraine, Kiev and Lviv.    

Craig George who is the organiser of the initiative and who is driving one of the buses to Ukraine said, " I wanted to help support the work being done by Ukraine UK Aid, as they are doing a fantastic job in supporting local Ukrainian people in need.

"The first task was to approach bus operators for the donation of a couple of buses, and with thanks to the fantastic help and support from First Bus the journey was on. We then needed to connect all the dots and communicate with all the people who needed to be involved in making the journey happen, which was quite a challenge, but the generosity and enthusiasm of everyone involved has been brilliant. 

"The buses will have two separate homes, one in Lviv and the other in Kiev where Ukrainian based groups of volunteer medics are providing local support. The buses will be operational in freshly targeted areas where help is needed and  will also be used to evacuate people out of zones that have been under attack where they can be treated more safely.  

"Imagine people on the ground having their lives turned upside down, living near the frontline, and wondering if they are the next target, or shells falling from the sky around them, to see one of these buses come round the corner to help take them to safety away from the area, is immeasurable.

"Imagine 30 or 40 people being taken out of a village to safety on one of these buses, that is incredible, it will be a lifeline for people.

"All being well, we will cross the border into Ukraine in four days, stopping in Kent, Germany and Slovakia on the way, we will keep people updated on our progress throughout the journey".

Zoe Hands, Managing Director for First South Yorkshire, Manchester, and Midlands said, “I’m really proud to be representing First Bus today as we donate two buses to Craig George of the Ukraine UK Aid Volunteer Group.

“I’d also like to take a moment to recognise that Go Southwest and the Wellglade Group have contributed the fuel for this journey, and of course to the Plymouth Ukraine Medical Aid Group (PUMA) who are going to be filling both buses with medical supplies for Ukraine which will be used as soon as next week.

“Everybody here at First is really grateful for their contributions, and we all wish them a safe journey.”

John Bickerton, Group Engineering Director for TM Travel’s parent Wellglade Group, said: “It was a real honour to welcome to TM Travel the two buses that are heading to help Ukraine. They are looking great, and we were very pleased to be able to contribute some supplies, spare parts, and fuel, as well as fitting our USB charge points so that the drivers can charge their satnav to find their way east. Hats off to First Bus for donating the vehicles and it has been an excellent opportunity for the bus family to come together to support people in such need.”


Notes to editors

First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. Making journeys easier for our customers, we were the first national bus operator to accept contactless card payments across all of our services and our First Bus App is voted ‘best in class’ amongst UK bus operators. Our most recent investments are in new, state-of-the-art buses across our key networks.

We work proactively with our local authority partners, making a positive impact on air quality, tackling congestion and improving customer experience. We are focused on First Bus becoming a leader in the transition to a low-carbon future and are committed to operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035; we have pledged not to purchase any new diesel buses after December 2022. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

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