March 17, 2022: A lorry loaded with 12,000 tourniquets, which are used to stem blood loss in limb injuries, along with additional medical supplies left St John national distribution centre in Peterborough on March 4. From Slovakia the cargo crossed the border into Ukraine where the supplies were transported to its final destination, Kharkiv. The first aid supplies are being handed out to hospital staff in Kharkiv and smaller medical units. 

Depaul Ukraine was founded in 2007 as a response to the growing numbers of homeless people in the country. The charity supported displaced people when Russia invaded in 2014, and today demand for its services has never been higher. Father Vitaliy, Chair of Trustees of Depaul Ukraine, has travelled alongside the cargo. 

Chief Executive of St John Ambulance, Martin Houghton-Brown: 

“Everyone across St John has been moved by the tragic scenes in Ukraine and has wanted to respond. Having worked with Father Vitaliy and Depaul for many years I know that through this partnership we are able to be very targeted in our support, making sure that what we provide, how we provide it and how it gets to where it is most needed are all carefully thought through. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who need these urgent medical supplies and we continue to hope for peace.” 

Group CEO of Depaul International, Matthew Carter, said: “This shipment of emergency medical supplies will undoubtedly save lives of some very vulnerable people. We are very grateful to our partner St John Ambulance, and also to the public for their overwhelming generosity.” 

St John is planning a further delivery of medical supplies, departing the UK on March 25.