Ukraine war: Edinburgh lawyer travelling 1,000 miles to deliver vital maternity equipment

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A lawyer from Edinburgh has set off on a solo round-trip from Scotland to Ukraine to deliver more than £17,000 of maternity equipment to midwives and doctors.

Andrea Fraser, 31, will be flying to Krakow in Poland tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October), where she will pick up a fully equipped, Baby-lifeline branded first responder vehicle, which she will drive to the Ukrainian border.

After handing over the supplies and equipment to local volunteers who will distribute them to hospitals and makeshift shelters across Ukraine’s frontlines, Andrea will begin a gruelling 1,250-mile bike ride back to the UK to raise funds for charity Baby Lifeline.

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The first responder vehicle, which has been kitted out with everything paramedics might need to safely treat casualties and deliver babies, will be donated to a hospital in Kramatorsk, an area where hospitals have recently been targeted by Russian missiles.

Andrea Fraser has embarked on solo round-trip from Scotland to the Ukrainian borderAndrea Fraser has embarked on solo round-trip from Scotland to the Ukrainian border
Andrea Fraser has embarked on solo round-trip from Scotland to the Ukrainian border

The Baby Lifeline specialist birth bags, as well as defibrillators, personal protective equipment (PPE), stretchers and blankets to Ukraine-based volunteers, will be used to safely deliver babies in the war-torn country.

Since March 2022, Baby Lifeline and its supporters have donated £500,000 worth of equipment to teams in Ukraine, helping to safely deliver thousands of babies since the war began. Andrea will be ending the European leg of her tour in Rotterdam at the beginning of next month.

She will ferry to London before catching a train to Berwick-upon-Tweed, cycling across the border and ending the epic journey at the Edinburgh headquarters of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), on the 5 November. One of the volunteers from AUGB will be matching Andrea’s mileage on an exercise bike at home.

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Ms Fraser said: "It's going to be tough but I have to do something to draw attention to the suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the need for continued public support for organisations like Baby Lifeline.

"The Russian onslaught has stepped up once again, and, with winter is fast approaching, I am haunted by thoughts of what innocent and vulnerable civilians, including pregnant women and birthing people, are set to go through.

"Can you imagine being forced to give birth in a warzone, separated from family, without adequate pain relief, in the freezing cold, surrounded by the sound of missiles and artillery fire?

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"I could easily feel daunted about driving to the Ukrainian border, and what will be the longest bike ride of my life through four foreign countries, but it is nothing compared to what the people of Ukraine go through on a daily basis."

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Judy Ledger, Founder and CEO of Baby Lifeline, said: "Andrea Fraser is a truly remarkable woman, not only because she's bravely travelling to Ukraine on her own – and then putting herself through one of the most challenging fundraising activities we, in our 40 years as a charity, have ever seen – but also because of her unrelenting dedication to helping women and babies in Ukraine.

"Thousands of babies continue to be born in the most horrific circumstances, and we have to continue to do what we can to support them. Andrea, you are an inspiration. Thank you for everything."

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