A MODEL ship is a step closer to travelling from the front line in Ukraine to a Charlestown museum.

Charlestown’s Shipwreck Treasure Museum commissioned retired rocket engineer Vitaliy Vrubel to create a model of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous ship, Endurance.

It has since called for assistance in retrieving the bespoke model ship from Dnipro in eastern Ukraine. Plymouth businessman Andreas (Andy) Evangelou responded, committing to collect the model with the help of South African zoo animal rescuer Lionel de Lange. Currently in Kyiv, Andy made a 32-hour overland trip, towing a caravan packed with his latest consignment of aid.

He also planned to rendezvous with South African Lionel de Lange from Warriors of Wildlife, a charity caring for and relocating neglected zoo animals. Lionel has offered to make the dangerous journey, including a five-hour detour to avoid villages occupied by Russian forces, to collect the model of Endurance from Dnipro, which is now within the conflict’s “hot zone”.

He will then deliver the model on to Andy in Kyiv to take on the 1,800-mile journey to Charlestown. Andy, 64 has made six selffunded trips to Ukraine, each time taking tonnes of donated food, medicine, and essential items to help those in need in the country. He was inspired to help the people of Ukraine after last year’s Russian invasion, due to memories of his own family encountering a similar situation when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974. Model ship is on its way

“I was 14, and I saw my mother’s and father’s families in Cyprus become refugees in the blink of an eye,” he said. “The home I grew up in London was suddenly accommodating up to 30 members of our extended family for a year and a half. Nearly 50 years later, one-third of Cyprus is still occupied by Turkey, much the same as happened when Russia annexed Donbas and Crimea in 2014.”

Andy is also working with Plymouth vet Edmund Shillabeer, taking animal supplies to the war-torn country. Edmund’s appeal to fund pet care in the Kherson area on Ukraine, which was badly flooded after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, can be found at www.gofundme. com/f/ukrainian-flood-stricken-pets-need-urgent-help