'Apocalyptic' scenes on Ukraine border inspire town businessman to do more for refugees

The children of single fathers arrive in the unfamiliar country without their dads, who had to drop them off at the border and return home to fight, while abandoned dogs roam free and feral.

Don said: "It was apocalyptic. People are standing around for hours, days, numb in -5C temperatures, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"You see a lot of fear in their eyes because of what they've been through, having to go to a different country where they don't speak the language and have left everything behind.

"One family had pushed their car for many miles, one mum broke down and sobbed when we gave sweets to her young daughter, it was very emotional.

"There are around three million refugees who have crossed the border so far, with seven million expected altogether. This crisis is where we need to focus."

The Swindon Polish Community Centre rallied the town to help the innocent civilians of war-torn Ukraine, then staff at OPX Group organised the donations and sorted them onto a lorry with help from BEST and Phoenix Enterprises.

'Apocalyptic' scenes on Ukraine border inspire town businessman to do more for refugees

Pavel Pozniak and Nicu Ionut from OPX volunteered to drive the lorry while Don and Chris followed in their car to ensure the international journey went smoothly.

They delivered the goods to the charity Caritas in Lublin then went to Dorohusk to see the Swindon-sent supplies safely dropped off to those who needed them.

Less than two days after the convoy began its return journey, a military base 10 miles from Dorohusk was bombed, killing at least 35 people.

Chris added: "This was a journey to the unknown and we had a mission to help as much as we can. It was eye-opening and made you appreciate little things we take for granted."

The Brydens now want to step up their efforts by setting up a tented area with a canteen, kitchen and portaloos where refugees can rest on proper beds, cook meals, go to the toilet with dignity, and safely shelter from the cold weather.

Donations of water, warm and clean clothes, tinned food and soups, sleeping bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste would still be greatly appreciated.

Chris and Don Bryden

Don and Chris Bryden give sweets to a young Ukrainian girl in Poland