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Grampian Ride for Ukraine to electrify Ellon and Inverurie with inspiring show of support

By Lewis McBlane

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BIKERS, 100-strong, will ride through Ellon and Inverurie this Saturday (April 30) to raise money for Ukraine.

Bikers stopped in Peterhead during the NHS Ride of Thanks, a previous charity run.
Bikers stopped in Peterhead during the NHS Ride of Thanks, a previous charity run.

Bikers from across the north-east and as far away as Durham will unite for Grampian Ride for Ukraine, which is set to give Ellon and Inverurie an incredible spectacle.

Engineer and Biker Kev Kilgour has spent weeks organising the charity run, which leaves from Aberdeen and passes through Stonehaven, Banchory, Westhill, Inverurie and Ellon and returning to Aberdeen.

Mr Kilgour, who is sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee family to stay in his home, hopes the event will showcase the fundraising spirit of north east bikers.

He said: "The motorcycling community are widely known for their fantastic fund-raising events and what better way to show that than Grampian Ride For Ukraine?

"We have Scottish, English and even Canadian riders taking part, as well as scooter clubs closer to home in Aberdeen plus representatives from the Polish Motorcycle Club of Scotland – The Liberated.

"As the organiser of the Poppy Ride Out, in aid of Poppyscotland, raising awareness and fundraising is an important part of my life.

"Together we show solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine and especially, to those who have chosen to make Aberdeen and Grampian Region the place where they can be safe and feel at home."

Inverurie spectators can catch the bikes at 1pm as they travel through the town.

Their route will take them down North Street, West High Street and eventually to the retail park.

Their next stop, at 2pm, will be in Ellon.

The riders will thunder west down Riverside Drive, South Street, Market Street, Castle Road and finally out towards Tesco.

Mr Kilgour has teamed up with Aberdeen charity OWN Woman Kołowrotek, who are providing a team of charity collectors, to provide the most help possible to vulnerable Ukrainians.

Mr Kilgour said: "Any amount we can raise will not be enough.

"Refugees will be arriving, in some cases, with nothing more than a supermarket carrier bag containing what remains of their lives.

"Families are being torn apart, their country has been destroyed and countless innocent lives have been lost.

"It’s impossible to put a financial figure to that but if we, even in a small way, can help to start rebuilding their lives – that’s what can be counted."

The Royal British Legion Scotland Riders' Branch will helping the event run smoothly by handling marshalling and safety duties.

Mr Kilgour has also been working closely with Aberdeenshire Council and the Police to ensure a smooth, safe event.

One family who will watch the ride with interest is the Ukrainian refugee family who will soon move into Mr Kilgour's household.

He said: "They are keeping up to date with everything that’s taking place from central Ukraine where, last night, Russian rockets impacted not far from where they are sheltering.

"Like the rest of the refugees fleeing the dangers being inflicted upon them, they are amazed at the support coming from the people of Scotland and indeed the rest of the UK.

"Preparing the house to welcome the family into our home was easy but the activities associated with visa applications were very frustrating and stressful.

"We are starting to think through the difficult logistics of helping them move through Ukraine safely and getting them to the UK.

"On arrival, they will need time to unwind.

Many Refugees are arriving extremely traumatised due to the things they have seen and indeed, been part of."

A biker on a previous RNLI charity ride.
A biker on a previous RNLI charity ride.

Mr Kilgour hopes that the sight of the bikers united for the Ukrainian people will help his newly-adopted family manage their deep pain.

Overall, though he shared his gratitude for the efforts made by north east charities.

He said: "OWN Woman Kołowrotek - Po Prostu Pomagamy and Scotland Supports Ukraine are doing fantastic work, getting much needed Humanitarian Aid to Poland for onward transport into Ukraine.

"The sights local drivers over there are facing, two to three times a week, is unimaginable.

"The Humanitarian Aid is saving lives!

"Thank you to all the people of north east Scotland for your support. Please keep donating if you can, we are making a difference."

For more information or to support Grampian Ride for Ukraine, visit: https://bit.ly/3rRwLmP

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