Destroyed stables and unexploded bombs in fields: British businessman on his journeys to conflict zone

  • A British businessman who returned from Australia intending to go to household has as a substitute spent months delivering veterinary drugs to a few of the components of Ukraine hit hardest by the Russian invasion.

    Neil Henson spoke to H&H within the few days between one journey and the following, explaining that he fell into his present position by chance. He owns racehorses in Darwin, the place his enterprise relies, and after he arrived within the UK this autumn, he was chatting with folks concerned in racing in Newmarket.

    “A pal mentioned he had all these donations and did I need to assist out,” he mentioned. “She didn’t have a van, so I purchased one.”

    The van was loaded up with donations Neil estimates to be value between £50,000 and £60,000. This included veterinary medicines for horses, canines and cats, and “wherever there was a spot, I stuffed it with canine and cat meals, and garments”.

    “On that first run, folks mentioned ‘Thanks a lot, however we want the next and might you assist’” he mentioned.

    Neil works with charities in Ukraine and right here, together with British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine and animal charity UPAW.

    “It’s led me down an uncommon path,” he mentioned. “I’ve been on the entrance line, at vet clinics, visiting the remaining stables, and I’ve made so many buddies.”

    Neil takes footage of donated items with the recipients, so donors know their objects have gone to the place they have been imagined to. He intends to proceed making the journeys into subsequent 12 months, whereas his daughter runs the enterprise, and finally assist with the rebuilding of Ukraine.

    He has been in espresso retailers when air raid sirens go off, and sheltered in basements as bombs have fallen, and as soon as by chance was pushed right into a Russian-occupied space.

    “The woman who was driving took a flawed flip,” he mentioned. “I informed her to maneuver over, and I drove out of there with burning wheels. That was shut; we’d in all probability have develop into a narrative on the information about two Brits captured by the Russians and who is aware of.”

    Neil has seen stables demolished by missiles, and fields wherein homeowners are afraid to show horses out as there are unexploded bombs.

    “Vets try to do their regular work with horses however discover they’re lacking stuff, so that they ask me and I ship the requests again to the UK,” he mentioned. “The donations are making an enormous distinction.

    “They’re so grateful for every part and after I see that, I need to stick with it.”

    To contact Neil about donations, e mail

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