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Reform Magazine | November 29, 2023

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We are… humanitarian aid workers

We are… humanitarian aid workers

Robertson and Annette Marshall go trucking for Ukraine

The Driver
Visiting Moldova has opened my eyes to poverty that hopefully we will never know. I first went with TEECH, a charity that takes aid to local communities. It also works in impoverished villages, building toilets in schools that have none, rewiring orphanages, upgrading elderly residences. I’m a driver and I can provide a 44-ton artic, so when the Ukraine war began and I got a call from the guy who runs TEECH, I knew what he wanted before he spoke.

The main reason I went this time was the horror of what is happening, and it struck a chord with me. Ukraine is so close to Moldova, they’re practically brothers and sisters. I just wanted to help in any way I could. My wife, Annette, was the same. It started with just our two trucks. In the end it snowballed and there were nine vehicles.

I left Scotland on 23 March with eight pallets – which equates to three and a half to four tons of goods. At Heathrow I picked up another 18 pallets of food, clothes and heaters. It was a four-day journey in all – Harwich to Holland and through Germany, Austria and Hungary to the Romanian border. Then 14 hours to cross Romania and, finally, across Moldova to Călărăşenca in the east, literally on the border with Ukraine. A river divides the two, and opposite we could see smoke from artillery strikes in the hills, which was sobering…

Robertson and Annette Marshall live in Edinburgh, where Robertson runs an HGV firm. They volunteered with Telecoms Eastern European Challenge (TEECH)


This is an extract from an article published in the June 2022 edition of Reform

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