World Extreme Medicine founder thanks locals for support in donations to the Ukraine convoys.

The residents of Beer have been thanked for helping raise funds for a series of convoys to war torn Ukraine to deliver medical supplies and training.

As part of Beer’s Regatta Week, resident Mark Hannaford - the founder of World Extreme Medicine - delivered a well-attended talk at the Congregational Church.

Mark, who has lived in the East Devon village for 12 years, explained how World Extreme Medicine trains medics to lead, support and care for people in extreme locations including the jungle, mountains and space.

He also updated the audience on the work of Medics4Ukraine, which has so far run five convoys to Ukraine and began with support from people in Beer and neighbouring Branscombe.

Mark said the fundraising that began in East Devon had just reached £1,262,251. To date, 258 special ops medics have received training, and future aims are for 200 to be trained each month.

He also spoke about people he had met in Ukraine whose lives have been devastated by the conflict, including a man who went out into his garden at 2am just as a missile hit; his wife died in the house and his legs were blown off.

Astonishingly he was able to make his own tourniquet and survived until World Extreme Medicine is now the largest organisation of its type in the world.

Mark believes support will be needed for many years to come due to the complexity of the political issues playing out. He said: “If it was my son on the frontline, would I want someone like me to do what I’m doing? The answer is "yes.”

Gayle Chapple, Beer Regatta vice chair said: “Mark spoke so eloquently and movingly, and 'inspirational' goes without saying. Most of us feel so helpless when we see the news, so are just enormously grateful that people like Mark, and of course all his supporters and colleagues, are out there doing something so worthwhile, and actually making a difference. It's a privilege to be able to support Medics4Ukraine.”

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