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Notts bosses on 1,700-mile Ukraine aid trip

Notts bosses on 1,700-mile Ukraine aid trip

The managing directors of two Nottinghamshire firms are setting out this week to deliver thousands of pounds worth of aid to refugees fleeing Russian atrocities in Ukraine. 

Property magnate Arran Bailey, of Nottingham’s ALB Group, and Rob Cassidy, of Mansfield-based New Century Windows, are driving five vans full of aid on a 1,700-mile trip to Poland before driving on to Hungary buying supplies at Cash and Carries on Thursday after being inundated with donations through a GoFundMe campaign.

The pair have been appalled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and were determined to help after seeing news footage of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Originally the team had hoped to deliver the aid to Moldova, because they both felt the 230,000 refugees ending up there had been largely overlooked, but were unable to locate a refugee camp in Moldova to arrange delivery. 

Rob and Arran launched their joint GoFundMe campaign last week, with a target of reaching £5,000 in cash donations. But within just 24 hours the campaign had raised £15,000, and almost topped £18,000 by Monday morning. 

The team also had two very overwhelming donations from Stena Line who donated the ferry crossing, and from Paul Smith have also donated around 3,000 items of clothing. 

All of the money donated is being used to purchase essential items such as toiletries, blankets, clothing, baby milk, nappies, food and torches. ALB and New Century Windows will be funding all fuel, tolls, accommodation and other expenses incurred on the trip from their own pockets.

Arran, whose projects closer to home include the acquisition of commercial units in Nottingham’s Bridlesmith Gate area with the aim of transforming it into the East Midlands’ answer to London’s Carnaby Street, said:

“When Rob and I chatted about the awful situation in Ukraine, we both shared the view that we had a duty to help those poor civilians who have been forced out of their homes and their country.

“We hoped to raise £5,000 so we’ve been absolutely bowled over by the support and donations we’ve received that has seen our original target more than triple. This war has really tugged at people’s heart strings, and we are proud to be able to do something of value.

“These people need all the help they can get. We believe our aid delivery will go a long way towards helping those fleeing the conflict and providing some short-term relief from this appalling situation.” 

Arran and Rob have this week been converting the GoFundMe cash donations into aid items, including towels, solar-powered phone chargers, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and cutlery.

They began their epic journey today (March 17th) 

Arran added:

“All funds raised will go directly to buying essential aid for refugees, so I’d urge anyone who’s able to help to make a donation, however large or small. It will all go to an extremely worthy cause.”

Last-minute donations can be made through Arran and Rob’s GoFundMe page at

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