Swindon bus donated for use as field hospital in Ukraine

By Jessica Durston - 8 March 2023

  • (L to R): Anantoliy Kiktiev, Alla Skydan and Svitlana Yehorochkina

    (L to R): Anantoliy Kiktiev, Alla Skydan and Svitlana Yehorochkina

A bus, donated by Swindon’s Bus Company, will be put to use and converted into a field hospital before being sent to the front line in Ukraine

Nataliya Suhoveeva and Leon Daniels
The local operator recently was approached by Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership (SHAP), which was formed to help those both still in the war-torn country, and those who have become refugees in the UK.
Mike Bowden, SHAP chair, said: “SHAP was formed when Russia first invaded Ukraine. A small group of local people - Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian and British - met to learn about the desperate situation many in Ukraine found themselves in. We all wanted to ‘do something’ and the seeds of SHAP were planted. 
‘Since then, we have delivered hundreds of tonnes of aid to either the Poland/Ukraine border or into central and eastern Ukraine. We’ve also been providing extensive support to refugee visitors arriving here. 
“All of our work is carried out by volunteers and relies upon donations from generous companies and individuals. With such a dire situation happening right now on the ground in Ukraine, the country is in need of mobile field hospitals to aid the recovery of civilians, and those risking their lives to defend their homeland. 
“Converted buses are perfect for this so, with significant help from Heidi Alexander and non executive director at Transport for London, Leon Daniels, we approached companies across the UK to see if they were willing to donate vehicles to this very worthy cause. I’m delighted by the response we’ve had. We recently took delivery of our first bus - given to us by Swindon’s Bus Company.
“This has set an excellent precedent, and I’d like to thank Swindon’s Bus Company on behalf of all those who are working hard to help those caught up in this cruel conflict. The bus will be converted and fitted with hospital beds and everything else required for it to carry out its new role in Ukraine. We look forward to more buses from other operators over the coming months.”
Andrew Wickham, managing director of Swindon’s Bus Company, added: “When we were approached and asked for a bus, it became instantly obvious how the vehicle could be used to help people out in Ukraine. 
“It is a very sad fact of war that this new field hospital, and others that follow it to Ukraine, will be well-used. On behalf of all my colleagues at Swindon’s Bus Company, I would like to send our hopes, prayers and best wishes to our friends - both in Ukraine and in the UK - who are affected by this cruel conflict. 
“I am pleased that we have been able to play a small role in helping civilians and soldiers who have been injured on the front line, get the treatment they need to recover.”
More information about SHAP can be found at shapuk.org
More information about Swindon’s Bus Company can be found at swindonbus.co.uk

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