Jenny Jenkins and the team at the Penparcau hub have loaded their 52nd van full of supplies as they prepare to travel 5,500 miles to deliver aid to Ukraine.

With it being almost two years since the war in Ukraine broke out on 23 February 2022, the team at Penparcau have managed to send a van full of supplies to Ukraine every two weeks.

The Cambrian News witnessed them in action, showing the scale of the operation being undertaken by those at the Penparcau hub.

Jenny and ex police officer Phil Westbury, who has also travelled with her to Ukraine before, will be heading to Ukraine on Friday 23 February. Originally, they planned to leave this week, but the offer of more medical supplies made them postpone.

Jenny and Phil load the van with the latest aid package (Cambrian News)

Jenny said: “It’s important that each delivery is as full as it can be. It’s upsetting to leave any space in the van because that space could be used to bring supplies that are urgently needed.”

When Cambrian News reporter Alex Bowen arrived at the hub, Jenny, Phil and the rest of the team were packing a variety of supplies - medicine and medical treatment, food, handwarmers and clothes, nappies and baby food, crutches and wheelchairs and even a 3kw generator.

The generator alone could provide power, and heating to a community centre or a block of flats.

Jenny explained the ability to have power in Ukraine is crucial for everyone, from soldiers to everyday people.

She said: “What’s needed most, especially in the winter, is food and heating. Power is vital for providing that. I have seen people out in the snow building campfires and trying to cook food by putting a saucepan on top of it.”

There are also a variety of arts and crafts supplies which will go towards Ukrainian run arts and crafts sessions for children “to be children for an hour or so.”

In total, the team at the Penparcau Hub packed 11 trolleys worth of supplies into the van.

Phil and Jenny explained the biggest challenge in bringing their supplies over to Ukraine is in the cost of transporting everything over there.

This will be the 52nd aid drive to Ukraine since war broke out two years ago (Cambrian News)

They have asked people to sponsor what they’ve called trauma teddies, handmade cuddly teddies which are sent out to Ukraine. The money they get from having a teddy sponsored funds the over 5,000 mile long trip to Ukraine.

Phil said: “If people are able to sponsor our trauma teddies, that gives us the cash to fund the transport and logistics. We’re always trying to find the cheapest way to get supplies out there, but the cost can be expensive.”

The trip does not come without risks for those who donate. Jenny said if they were spotted by Russians, they “would be arrested on site” as they could be mistaken for spies.

She said: “No one takes anything lightly, if we were spotted by Russians we would be arrested on site. I don’t know what would happen after that.”

Jenny also explained how getting aid into Russian controlled areas of Ukraine is much more difficult, because of this.

She said: “I feel heartbroken for the Ukrainians in Russian controlled areas, they’re there under duress, and you don’t know how much aid they get.

“They’re also being forced to adopt a Russian identity, by having to take Russian passports.

“Children in Russian controlled areas are being forced to dance in honour of Putin.

“Can you imagine that? Being made to dance in honour of someone who has taken everything from you, your life, friends, family, education and your childhood.”

If you have any supplies you can donate, or want to sponsor a trauma teddy, you can do so at the Penparcau Hub.