UK farmers mobilise to take their pickups to Ukraine’s front line

As we approach the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war-torn country is in desperate need of supplies.

Amid rumour of a renewed Russian offensive, a group of farmers and industry specialists, known collectively as Pick-Ups for Peace, is working to collect 4x4s to send to the front line.

Founded by Vincent Gillingham, Mark Laird and Alastair Stewart, Pick-ups for Peace is aiming to send 100 farm pickups, plus additional vital aid, to the military in Ukraine by the end of May.

So far, they have delivered about £170,000 worth of potatoes, food, blankets and supplies, which are channeled through the 24th Lviv Danylo Separate Mechanized Brigade.

See also: Video of destroyed dairy farm in Ukraine sparks outrage

One of the country’s most acclaimed military units, the 24th Brigade is well placed to distribute resources and emergency aid to the people that need it most.

Vincent said: “More recently, it’s become apparent that Ukraine is in desperate need of trucks – not just for active fighting, but to enable people to move around, to take injured people away from the front line, and to get food and medicine to the front line.

“They’ve been given a lot of armoured vehicles by the West, which are right at the front, but they are missing the ability to ferry soldiers and resources – so, that’s what we’re doing.”

The goal is to collect 100 4x4s and pickups, which will travel out to Ukraine in convoys of about 20, with support vehicles in tow.

So far, there have been more than 20 vehicles donated, the majority of which have come from farmers and members of rural communities.

Many farmers have also volunteered to transport the vehicles to Ukraine, where they will meet members of the 24th Brigade and witness the military re-spraying the vehicles in camouflage army livery.

“UK farmers played such a key role in defeating fascism in the Second World War,” said Vincent.

“They did it in a different way then, growing food to supply people in the army. Now, we are trying to pull on those same core values from the UK farming industry.”

First drop

For the security and safety of the team, exact dates of the drop-offs are being kept a secret, but Vincent is able to confirm that the first drop of four vehicles, which took place in February, was a huge success.

“They were really the guinea pigs to see what kind of barriers we’d face at the borders – but the support from the Polish and German police and border guards was very much a case of being waved on through, because the trucks were full of aid.”

A convoy of a further 17 trucks will be setting off in the coming weeks, ahead of planned drop-offs in April and May.

Donations from farmers make a difference

Support from members of the farming community and rural organisations has really given the Pick-ups for Peace campaign added momentum. 

Wiltshire arable farmer Alex Swanton has been rallying local farmers and old college pals, and plans to drive a vehicle out to Ukraine in one of the next drop-offs.  

He said: “I didn’t have a pickup on the farm to donate, so I went out and bought a second-hand one locally, and phoned local farming friends to get them to donate towards the cost of it – and I’ll hopefully be driving it out near the end of the month.

“I’m hoping to get enough donations to possibly get another one, but we’ll certainly take out plenty of supplies in the back of this one,” said Alex.

The list of supplies needed by the 24th Brigade includes basic items such as jerry cans, screen wash, medical kits, ratchet straps and jump leads, as well as more technical kit such as drones and night-vision equipment.

Donations of essential items have already been rolling in, including from Angus farmer James Arnott, who donated a generator and truck-bed full of supplies.

A Ford Ranger pickup was also donated by small agri-forestry business Caledonian Logs.


Getting involved does not have to include donating a vehicle. The campaign has established a fundraising page for those who would like to contribute towards the cost of a pickup or the purchase of supplies. 

For more information, or to donate vehicles or supplies, contact or make a donation on

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