by For Fleet's Sake


A Fleet business has joined local residents in a mission to help get urgent aid to those in Ukraine.

Neale Turk Solicitors in Reading Road South have stepped up to help the appeal by offering room for donated goods in their spare office space, allowing organisers to increase their storage capacity and move the collection of goods out of their own home. They are the second Fleet business to help the humanitarian cause after Nationwide previously announced it would be collecting donations for the beleaguered Country.

Victoriya Ikonnikova (Gorham), originally from Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine, started the local aid effort after Russian troops invaded the country on the 24th February, beginning a war that shows no sign of abating. Victoria came to England ten years ago after meeting her husband in a Ukrainian cafe during an England v Ukraine football match. Now, Victoria and other local residents are collecting non-perishable goods to transport to the Polish border. With most of the major cities now under attack, the situation is critical and help is desperately needed.

Below: Victoria with her sons, Liam and James.


If you’d like to contribute to the aid appeal, you can donate goods from Tuesday 8th March to the car park of Neale Tuck Solicitors, which can be found in Clarence Road (at the Reading Road South end). This can be done from Monday – Friday between 10am – 5pm, just go to the bottom of the stairs and ring the bell for access.

The current donation requests are listed below. The group state that they DO NOT currently need general clothes, blankets, duvets or towels.


1. Diamode / Imodium/ imperim (or anything with Loperamidum)

2. Nurofen /paracetamol/ Ibuprofen

3. Activated charcoal

4. Large bandages

5. Gauze

6. Chloromycetin /chloroptic / Fenicol /Isopto Fenicol

7. Tourniquet

8. Antiseptic spray /anything with iodine

9. Savlon gel /any anti-inflammatory ointment

10. Vibramycin / Doryx / Acticlate

11. Sudocream / antiseptic healing cream

12. Corvalol/ Backofen (Lioresal) or any muscle relaxant

13. Pancrease/ nutrizym/ pancrex

14. Antihistamines (Claritin/ piritezr / Benadryl)



Energy bars

Baby food

Canned food (meat, fish, soup)

Tea and coffee



Women’s new underwear

Wet wipes

Sleeping bags

Women’s sanitary products

Thermal gloves and hats

Heavy duty weatherproof jackets



Victoria and her team have just shipped two tons of food, medical supplies and generators direct to a logistic centre off the Polish/Ukraine border but without funding, may have to restrict further trips. John Merriman, a Fleet resident who is helping the team organise the appeal explained how he heard of the appeal on Facebook and decided to help:

I’ve been working flat out with Victoria and her core team of Ukrainian girls. 10 years ago I travelled to Kyiv regularly on business before I retired and have always had a soft spot for Ukraine and their people. Being retired I can now give all my time and energy to the cause.


We shipped around 2 tons of food and medical supplies this morning. The only reason we were packing on the street was for speed so squeeze into the truck the last few boxes as the Ukrainian driver was in a rush to catch the ferry! They are now on the ferry as we speak. We are moving out of Victoria’s house on Monday. Most of the team is made up of local Ukrainian girls who have worked with great passion for the last week. I find it hard that this is only day ten, during which time the world has changed for ever.

Below: John Merriman (R) and the team pack up the donated goods, which had been collected and stored in Victoria’s House.



Below: The goods were stored in Victoria’s house until the offer of storage from the Fleet based solicitors.

Below: The vans are packed solid ready for the trip.



Transport for the aid mission comes via a group of volunteer drivers, who are determined to deliver the donations, including non-perishable food, baby food and medical supplies, as quickly as possible to the border. With each trip costing around £2000 though, they desperately need help with funding to continue the trips.

A JustGiving page has been setup for those who would like to donate to the cause, with a target of £10,000 needed to make the necessary trips to the border. If you’d like to help, please click here, or on the image below:

Below: JustGiving page to fund the Ukrainian trips.

In such tough times, it’s heartwarming to see local people and businesses coming together to support the humanitarian aid effort. To see other ways you can help locally, please see: Fleet Reaches Out to Help Ukraine.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the war and let’s hope it comes to an end sooner, rather than later.

Stay safe everyone x

UPDATE 12/03/22

John Merriman:

Just to give you all an update. In the last 10 days we’ve shipped around 4 tonnes of food and medical aid to Ukraine over two trips. We normally do a 5 day turn round when our two Ukrainian drivers drive through the night, unload, rest for 24 hours, drive back and go again the next day. It’s a 2500 mile round trip.


The last load was shipped Wednesday evening and we were planning to load up and go again Monday or Tuesday depending on how they felt. When we were packing up this evening we had a call from them saying there are back! The situation is so desperate they want us to load up and go again tomorrow morning rather than Monday.


Our Ukrainian truck with Ukrainian drivers drive up to Polish/Ukrainian border and the people who distribute humanitarian aid in Ukraine cross the border and unload our van. . You can follow our progress on our Facebook page at Victoria G-m where we regularly post updates and you can donate money which helps fund the transport cost.


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