So this is our first post about a really unusual but wonderful thing. How often do any of us get a chance to make a real, tangible difference to something important? When we got the chance we simply had to take it.

As you may well know, Daniel chairs the Academy Choir Wimbledon and we were both singing in an Academy concert in June. The choir decided that it would be great if that concert could support the work of Aliya Aralbaeva (a local lady who has been fundraising to send ambulances and aid to Ukraine). We thought that it would help to raise her profile if she could park one of her ambulances outside the concert venue – Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon Village. Aliya agreed but shortly before the concert was due to start Daniel noticed that the ambulance was nowhere to be seen. Fearing a mechanical issue Daniel asked Aliya where it was and she confessed that the gateway to the church was a little narrow so she had parked it on the street outside.

Daniel before our concert pretending to know something about ambulances …

Daniel thought that the gateway looked plenty wide enough (hearses fit through, after all) and Aliya invited Daniel to try – an opportunity he seized with no little enthusiasm! Having witnessed Daniel manoeuvre the ambulance about 30 metres backwards through a narrow gateway Aliya asked if he would like Daniel to drive an ambulance forwards and a little further – all the way to Ukraine. Daniel’s answer was an immediate “yes” and when Eleanor heard about it a few minutes later she too leapt at the opportunity. We’re going to Ukraine!

… but you’ll have to fundraise …

Aliya has the wonderful idea that each ambulance that is driven out should raise funds for the next one. Since an ambulance can cost something in the region of £12k to buy and equip each one is a major fund-raising undertaking. This will be the twelfth ambulance that Aliya has managed to send though so it is clearly possible. Buying an ambulance and sending it somewhere that it is desperately needed is one of those ideas that really captures the imagination.

We would love it if you could consider making a donation by clicking on the button above. Without wishing to be vulgar, bearing in mind the size of the undertaking and the urgency of the need, we would especially love it if that donation could be a substantial one! Thank you!

Eleanor with Aliya and volunteers about to wave off a recent convoy of ambulances bound for Ukraine

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