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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scots brothers head to Ukraine on aid mission

This news post is about 1 year old

The pair are taking the trip on behalf of Edinburgh Direct Aid. 

Brothers David and Duncan Hamilton will next week be heading to Ukraine driving a specialist vehicle that will be used to support children traumatised by the war.

That support will include counselling and music therapy, with David and Duncan also seeking to raise at least £20,000 to assist with the costs of upgrading and transporting the vehicle and to support orphanages and shelters with much needed supplies. 

They are over halfway to meeting this but are looking for a final push from the Scottish public to reach this ambitious target.

David, who is on his fourth mission to the country, is a volunteer with Edinburgh Direct Aid having recently retired from policing and his role as chair of the Scottish Police Federation.

Duncan, is a member of the Faculty of Advocates, King’s Counsel and a Part Time Sheriff. He has previous experience working with NGOs in areas such as Georgia and Kosovo.

Thousands of children are “internally displaced” in Ukraine and many are traumatised by what they have experienced. 

This vehicle was donated to Edinburgh Direct Aid but has required upgrade work to ensure it is passed to the Ukrainian partner charity ‘Small Wins’ in a suitable condition. 

It will provide a consulting space in which trauma therapy can most effectively be delivered. The vehicle has also been fitted out for disabled access. The fact this is a mobile resource is critical, allowing help to be delivered where it is most urgently needed.

The costs of getting the vehicle to Ukraine, and to deliver a range of goods identified by the Ukrainian charity as those most needed is significant.

The brothers leave on Monday, June 12 and are asking for financial support to ensure that the costs of making this resource available can be met and that Ukrainian children, many of whom are orphans, get the support they need.

The vehicle will be operating in areas where flood evacuees from Kherson have been taken.

Duncan said: ‘I am very much looking forward to working with EDA in their outstanding efforts to provide assistance to the people of Ukraine. We really hope this kind of practical help, working with a local Ukrainian charity, can make a difference.

"The fact David and I can do it together makes it even more special because it allows me to share for the first time what has been a passion of his for over 30 years.”

EDA gets all of its funding from private donations. It gets no assistance from Governments or even the Disasters and Emergencies Committee. It has no paid UK staff.

David added: “There is something special about doing a trip like this with your brother and I’m very proud that he’s been so keen to come along. Ukrainians have a strong belief in family and I’m sure they will appreciate this connection.

“We still have more money to raise though so if you can assist, please do so.”