A HUSBAND and wife duo who have family at the heart of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are sending vital supplies to the war torn country.

Gary Clarke, who lives in St John’s, Colchester, says he couldn’t just sit back and watch the crisis unfold alongside his Ukrainian wife, Tetyana.

Tetyana has been left struggling to sleep as her mum stays at home in Ukraine, taking shelter in a bath tub after bombs rained down on Sunday.

And having fled his home city of Kyiv, her brother has volunteered to return to the capital city and fight the invading Russian troops.

Having issued an appeal for donations he would facilitate to head to Ukraine, Mr Clarke says he immediately became “inundated” with help.

The 52-year-old, who is using his work van to pick up supplies, said: “One of my friends gave me £150 and then another paid me £150 so I went to Aldi to purchase bits.

“I had spent all the money and then checked my bank account and it was all back there again – that’s how quickly people are trying to help us.

“On Sunday we sent 300 kilograms of food, sleeping bags and duvets and have had pictures which show they have arrived.

“It’s just been an incredible effort from everyone, I really don’t want any of this to be about me. Someone came to our door and gave us £1,000 in cash. For me, efforts like this are the real story.

“I think people can imagine themselves in the same circumstances and so just want to do something to help.”

Mr Clarke explained how he starts his new job on Monday and will no longer be able to work from 8am until 2am, of which he has undertaken since beginning his marathon effort.

He added: “I emptied everything out last night from our collection and when I got back this morning there was at least another van load.

“We are praying for all people affected by this crisis, and it seems the community is helping to answer them.”

Any donations should be made to Kingsland Church, in London Road, Lexden.