A TEACHER who has been driving to Ukraine with medical supplies and food for those affected by the Russian invasion, has spoken of his horror at the devastation wreaked on the country.

Tim Henry, from Enstone, near Chipping Norton, has been providing essential supplies to Ukraine since February.

The 51-year-old started by rescuing dogs that needed to be taken to safety before eventually driving to near the front line beyond the devastated city of Kharkiv. He said it was impossible to "un-see" the scenes of destruction and violence he witnessed.

Oxford Mail:

READ MORE: University to cover cost of fees for up to 20 Ukraine refugees

He said: "It was probably about three weeks into the war and people were going to the Polish border to help dogs.

"I got in touch with the man who was organising it and he said, 'Great, come and help'. I started trips back and forth and we were basically smugglers.

"I then met a couple of Ukrainian people who live in the east, close to the Russian border, who had been sheltering since the beginning.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Henry, who has lived in the West Oxfordshire village since 2004, travelled with a Ukrainian man, showing his passport at various checkpoints.

"There was a six-lane highway and we were the only car on it," he said. "At the last checkpoint in Kharviv the solider said we couldn't go any further.

"It was only because my contact was pleading saying he lived there and his neighbours were living in the basement with no food that the soldier said, 'It's up to you'.

"His building windows were smashed and the neighbouring building had a big gaping hole in the side of it - it was shocking, you could hear artillery shells dropping in the distance.

Oxford Mail:

"Two people saw the humanitarian signs on the side of the van and ran out asking us if we had food."

Mr Henry said the scariest part for him was the lack of fuel. He had to queue for hours and was limited to 20 litres at a time.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire a top country for Ukraine support with 1000 refugees welcomed

Oxford Mail:

He hopes to return to Kharkiv this week with "as much food and fuel crammed in the van as possible".

Customers of Enstone's The Crown Inn pub, as well as other residents further afield, have been donating the supplies for Mr Henry.

Oxford Mail:

For more information, or to donate, contact the pub on 01608 677262 or leave money in the collection pot inside the pub.

Oxford Mail:


Oxford Mail:

Oxford Mail:

READ MORE: Oxford University to fund students from Ukraine after 'immense suffering'



Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

A message from our Editor

Thank you for reading this story and supporting the Oxford Mail.

If you like what we do please consider getting a subscription for the Oxford Mail and in return we’ll give you unrestricted access with less adverts across our website from the latest news, investigations, features, and sport.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok for more. 

You can also join the conversation in our Facebook groups: stay ahead of traffic alerts here, keep up to date with the latest from court here, share your favourite memories of Oxford here, get your daily dose of celebrity news here and take some time out with news that will make you smile. 

If you’ve got a story for our reporters, send us your news here. You can also list an event for free here.