Staff at Swindon's Company X Consulting Ltd joined forces to battle bad weather and embark on a mammoth road trip to help the Ukrainian humanitarian effort.
Company X Consulting Ltd (CXC Ltd) are a veteran-owned, award-winning, consultancy company based in Swindon. They specialise in supporting the veteran community, providing complimentary non-obligation transition support for those leaving the armed forces and taking a step into the world of consultancy.
CXC are holdings of the Armed Forces Gold Covenant Status, as well as winners of both Business and Employer of the year (and now sponsor) at the English Veterans Awards.
Company X Consulting Ltd Business Development Manager, Jon Carter, said: "As a company of predominantly ex-defence and armed forces personnel, many of us understand the impact war has on civilian populations. As a company that prides itself on helping others, we felt that we had to do something ‘real’ in terms of supporting those who had been affected by this crisis in the Ukraine."
In fairly short order, the CXC team formed a small sub team of experts from within the company, led by the company's Business Manager, who could work out the logistics of undertaking such a task.
The CXC team were able to lean on their wider network, and soon had identified a route to take, a drop off location, and a list of items that were required in support of the humanitarian requirement in Ukraine.
Jon added: "We reached out across our wider team and were not short of willing volunteers who were up for undertaking the 2916 round trip -and sacrificing sleep for a few days."
The next step was to secure the funding and donations. The team looked to set up a GoFundMe page and publicised this across their social media network. They said they were absolutely staggered to reach their £10K target in less than four days.
A further bit of networking with Wiltshire Donations, local shops and supermarkets, and CXC had secured enough donations to fill six long wheel base transits.
The group then agreed their sub teams, hired vans, collected the goods, and set off on their road trip.
Jon said: "We did not really knowing what to expect, we were all just hopeful that we would be doing something positive."
Four hours into their drive, the CXC teams started to experience a few challenges. There were delays at the Channel Tunnel (a total of 10 hours), severe driving rain, strong winds, then finished off with heavy snow fall.
30 hours after departure the CXC team arrived at their destination. Although dark, the team said they could see the lights of the Ukraine border from the drop off destination.
Jon added: "We met a fantastic team of Polish volunteer firefighters who would seem to form the local hub in that area, all driven by nothing more than a large heart and a desire to help. We were kindly taken to a local hotel to grab six hours sleep before our return journey.
"At 8am sharp, we set off on our return leg and I am thankful the weather decided to be kind. A few snow ball fights at a local service station and a quick stop for some duty free, and we were making good time. That was until we hit the seven-hour return detail at the Channel Tunnel crossing. Tired and cold, we waited, told jokes, and enjoyed some complimentary coffee and cake.
"I am glad to say we all made it back safely, feeling really positive. Not only was it an opportunity to do something good in the world, but it was a great chance to get to know each other better and form some great lasting relationships within our team."
The team have now completed their second run and are in the process of planning a third.