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Behind the Wheels: The Payments Association Drives to Poland to Support Ukraine

The Payments Association, the community promoting innovation and collaboration in the payments industry, is gearing up for a charitable journey this month to support the survival and development of Ukrainian citizens.

From 26 to 28 January 2024, Tony Craddock, director general, and David Hunter, chairman, at The Payments Association, will join a convoy of vehicles from London to Poland on a mission to donate these vehicles as well as essential supplies to aid Ukraine during its challenging time as winter conditions set in and infrastructure issues continue.

The initiative, with a goal of raising £5,000, is a joint effort involving key figures from the payments industry, including Neil Harris, chair of The Payments Association advisory board and CEO of b.yond, and advisory board member Kamran Hedjri, group CEO of PXP Financial.

Since the war started two years ago, The Payments Association and members b.yond, PXP Financial as well as fscom have raised over £45,000 for Ukrainian causes. Charity Ukrainian Action purchased the vehicles for this mission, thanks to some of these donations.

The mission 

Ukrainian Action has transported hundreds of vehicles filled with humanitarian aid from London to Ukraine since February 2022. The concept is straightforward yet effective. Dedicated mechanics in the UK purchase vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks, and ambulances, and make them roadworthy.

These vehicles, along with essential supplies, form a convoy of 10 to 12 vehicles, heading to Ukraine via Poland. Trusted Ukrainian helpers near the border take charge of the vehicles, ensuring safe and efficient aid delivery without crossing into Ukraine itself.

The efficiency and low administrative overhead of this charitable model appealed to The Payments Association, ensuring that every pound donated directly benefits those in need. Their journey will span three days, including stops in Belgium and Poland.

Hunter told The Fintech Times: “There are many people working in the fintech community, especially in the computer engineering side, that have been affected by the Ukraine crisis, including people we know personally.

“We had some funds left over from our previous fundraising efforts and we felt like this would be the smartest way to use it. Not only is it a lovely thing to do from a charitable perspective and will hopefully raise awareness, but it’s actually going to be quite a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure for us too.”

Craddock, Harris, Hedjri and Hunter will depart from London to Europe via Eurostar, with a send-off from fscom director Alison Donnelly, who expressed the collective sentiment regarding the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“When the invasion happened, we were all startled and taken aback, and our hearts went out to them,” she said. “Things have changed over the past number of years, and it’s hard to believe that this still continues because it hasn’t changed for our colleagues and friends there, so we’re really pleased to be able to support the initiative.”

Find out more, including donating to the fundraiser, at the JustGiving page.





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