A DORSET resident is raising funds to buy a fleet of ex-Ministry of Defence ambulances for Ukraine.

Leo Chapman, a 46-year-old from Poole, has launched a Crowdfunder to raise money to buy heavy duty field ambulances, as well as support vehicles and vital wartime trauma kits to be sent to Ukraine.

Leo’s role as a Metropolitan Police constable has allowed him to make valuable connections and access the equipment that is needed. He said: “What they need (in Ukraine) is heavy duty ambulances and medical supplies.

“There is the equipment available, and I know how to get it.

“All we need is the funds.”

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The ‘Ukraine Humanitarian Rescue Team’ Crowdfunder has a target of £80,000 in money donations, which if raised, will be spent on heavy duty ambulances which Leo has advised cost £30,000 each.

He added: “I know someone who has raised money to buy normal ambulances to send to the Ukraine.

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“What they need is proper field ambulances because the ground (in Ukraine) is going to be churned up.

“The RAF are always buying new ones and there are sites all over the UK- there’s one in Doncaster that has about 1400 emergency, military, ex Ministry of Defence vehicles which get sold to collectors and things like that.”

Leo, who was nominated as Local Hero at the beginning of the pandemic, launched the fundraiser after seeing a close friend of his affected by the war.

He said: “My friend’s mother was trying to get out of Ukraine with her disabled son and husband. She didn’t make it.

“I have the skills to help so I thought: why aren’t I?”

Leo’s auntie, Hilary Baker, has helped to promote the ‘Ukraine Humanitarian Rescue Team’ Crowdfunder. She said: “We’ve approached the Rick Stein restaurant in Sandbanks to ask them to display a poster for us.

“Leo has also had meetings with the Police to see if they can do any fundraising there but at the moment the family are just trying to spread the word.”

To donate to the ‘Ukraine Humanitarian Rescue Team’ visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/ukraine-humanitarian-rescue-team.