Brave Calderdale mum's second aid trip to Ukraine despite having to flee bombing on her last visit

A kind-hearted Calderdale woman is soon to make her second aid trip to Ukraine, despite being just yards away from bombs exploding on her first visit.

By sarah fitton
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 12:13 pm

Raven Payne is helping elderly and disabled Ukrainians by delivering vital medical supplies to the besieged country.

The 56-year-old mum-of-two from Todmorden says there are some who are unable to leave their homes and are living under the constant threat of death from the daily bombing attacks.

She has already made one aid journey to Ukraine, when she had to rush to a shelter to escape bombs landing 800 metres away.

Raven Payne with her aid bus

As a former RAF weapons engineer who served for nine years before an accident left her disabled, she knew what the explosions were when she heard them.

She and her 11-year-old daughter, who was on the trip with her, had to wait for three hours in the shelter until they knew it was safe to come out. In that time, Raven said Russia bombed three power stations and part of a railway station.

Undeterred, she is planning to return this weekend with more supplies including catheter equipment, stoma supplies and incontinence support.

“I’m not able to go over and fight - that’s frustrating as a military person so I felt I had to do something,” she said.

Students are hiding in a bunker trying to continue their studies

“I’m trying to help people who can’t help themselves. I was left disabled by the accident so now I’m helping the elderly and disabled.”

Raven is also trying to support 12 LGBTQ students currently trying to continue their studies from a bunker near the Polish border.

“If I can raise enough money, I also want to support the shelter who looked after myself and my daughter during the bombings on our last trip. They were so kind to us and kept us safe,” she added.

She fears there has been a drop in support for Ukraine, and warned this winter will be incredibly tough for the country. Many usually grow crops in the warmer months to provide food for the winter months.

Raven will make a second trip to the besieged country this weekend

But with the war raging and so many people displaced, that will not be possible this year.

Raven has launched an online fundraiser and is appealing for dried foods for her to take to Ukraine.

For more about how to donate money or aid items to support her journey, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sandra-payne-2.