Bob and Emily - Credit: Supplied

Bob and Emily heading for the Ukraine border

Bob and Emily heading for the Ukraine border

Jim Parker

Torbay super-volunteer Bob Ward is back on the road, and this time he has the crisis in Ukraine in his sights.

The one-time Torquay butcher will be joined by his daughter Emily Douglas for the 2,500-mile round trip carrying urgently needed supplies to neighbouring Poland on the borders of the war-torn country.

They are leaving at the end of the month in a van supplied by Bob’s employers at Snows Mercedes Exeter, and the plan is to fill it to the brim with urgent food, sanitary clothing and products to make the refugees more comfortable in their time of need.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for the fuel, ferry and travel costs with a target of £2,000. Any excess will go to charities organising travel for the refugees to get to safety.

Bob and Emily, who will be sharing the driving have arranged to deliver the provisions to staff of the Norwegian Resources Committee, who have set up a base just outside Warsaw Central Station.

Bob first stepped up at the beginning of lockdown in 2020 when he acted as a rapid responder for the Helpline, as well as working delivering and preparing food for Eat that Frog.

In addition, he walked dogs, helped someone living nearby with their shopping and maintaining their garden and went on trips to Bristol to pick up tons of food for the foodbanks supplied by the Torbay Food Alliance.

“Those that know my dad will know he is always raising funds for charity, so when he called me to ask if I’d share the drive to the Ukraine border to provide the refugees with urgent supplies, I couldn’t say no,” said Emily.

Bob added: “I couldn’t just sit and watch it all unfold on my television day after day. It is war, being fought in real time, with real people, real casualties and millions of displaced people. People just like you and me. It is devastating.

“You cannot believe that this would happen in this day and age. And what of the children? I can’t believe it. I had to do something and Emily felt the same.”