Peter Humphrey, from Harworth, and his friend Kevin Clarke, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, undertook the 1,300-mile journey to Poland with supplies and money donated by people from the Bassetlaw region and beyond.
The pair left Harworth to catch a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, driving through Netherlands and Germany to reach the humanitarian aid drop-off point at Przemysl in Poland, where they registered and off-loaded the donated items, for distribution.
Peter said: “The Polish people were amazing. Many took time off work to help and volunteer. They built fires during the night to keep everyone warm and made sure the refugees were welcomed and fed.”
More than four million people are reported to have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded last month.
Peter said: “We then went on to Medyka where the fleeing Ukrainians arrived into Poland off the designated trains. You could see the sorrow in their faces, it was akin to images of the Second World War, a sombre place, very sad.
“Once the refugees arrived at the holding area, they appeared to become more uplifted and very grateful to be in a safe place.
“The world is doing its very best to help these people, it is so good to see.”
With some of the extra money donated, Peter and Kevin purchased essential items while in Poland, to donate directly to families, including food, baby items, and bandages, helping with the distribution as much as they could, before making their return journey back to Harworth.
Sizeable donations were made by Inter-Ways, Headstocks Tea Rooms, and The Retreat Pain Clinic.
The remaining cash donations are going to the Tickhill and District Lions.
They have pledged to double the amount and this will be sent directly to the Lions International where the aid can be delivered to those in need on the Ukrainian borders.
With further donations from Peter and businessman Neil Bradshaw, they hope to raise £20,000.
Donations can be made to Tickhill Lions quoting reference PPBD – see local-lions.org