A Herefordshire man is has found a very personal way to help the plight of those fleeing conflict in Ukraine.

Andreas Evangelou, 62, of Madley, is driving to the Ukrainian border this weekend in his laden BMW estate, which he will then use to ferry refugees from the border cross-points to Warsaw and Krakow.

“I can get one grown-up in the front, one in the back plus three or four children, and a pet or two in the very back for the 10-hour round trip,” he said.

“I’ve promised my wife I’ll not cross the Ukrainian border, though 20 years ago I might have done.”

He will switch transport to a minibus if he can obtain one, he added. “Rental companies here won’t let you take them to Poland.”

He hopes to reach the border crossing near Hrubieszów on Monday. After 20 days of shuttling passengers, he will bring back a family to the UK – “assuming they have sorted out the visa situation by then”.

He has received material and financial support from several businesses and individuals, and his GoFundMe page has already received 46 donations totalling £2,920 to fund his basic accommodation and fuel costs.

Mr Evangelou says his own family history prompted him to take up the challenge.

“In 1974 when I was 14, many of my family had to leave Famagusta in Cyprus when Turkey invaded – again, on a ‘peacekeeping’ mission,” he said. “They and thousands of others are still displaced nearly half a century later.”

He added: “I bottled my feelings about it away somewhere, until now. It’s what’s driving me.”

He hopes to provide updates on his progress to supporters back home during his 20-day mission.