Two generous brothers from Largs have completed an epic road trip to Ukraine and back to provide vital clothes for orphaned children.

David Ennis and his brother Brian set out on the four-day trip to deliver scores of bags, filled to the brim with jumpers and sweatshirts, to young people in Lviv and the capital Kiev.

The clothing was donated by Les Ward, David's fellow director at the Largs-based Gillian's Saltire Appeal, who gathered up items from stock at the charity's Main Street shop for the mission.

Brian headed to Kiev and David to Lviv to hand over the items. 

And the two brothers, who are both in their 70s, have spoken to the News about both the mission and what they saw during their time in the country as it came under renewed attack from invading Russian forces.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Smiles better: A Ukranian girl sporting her new clothing transported from Largs by Jeeps For Peace Smiles better: A Ukranian girl sporting her new clothing transported from Largs by Jeeps For Peace (Image: Gillian's Saltire Appeal)

David said: "We drove to Newcastle and then got an overnight ferry to Holland and onwards to Germany where we stopped and then onwards to Poland, where we stayed overnight.

"We had a four or five hour wait at the border, and I managed to get in just south of Lviv, near the border with Moldova.

"The school we visited was so welcoming. That is where we handed over Les's clothes for the orphanage, and they were so thankful."

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

"The Ukranian schoolchildren sang 'Slava Ukraini' - the national salute, known as a symbol of Ukrainian sovereignty and resistance to foreign aggression. It is the battle cry of the armed forces of Ukraine.

"It is often accompanied by the response "Glory to the Heroes" - and they told us they think all Scottish people are heroes.

"Then the choir sang 'Flower of Scotland', which was a very emotional moment for us all."

During his time in Lviv and the surrounding area, David also visited a number of cemeteries where the impact of the Russian invasion in February 2022 was laid out in the starkest way imaginable, with even small towns having hundreds of graves.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

In addition to the supplies of clothing David also took with him four and a half kilograms of Toblerone chocolate, donated by retired Paisley Sheriff Court judge George Kavanagh, who now lives in North Ayrshire.

Brian, meanwhile, had to endure the shock of Kiev coming under direct attack while he was helping to transport goods to the capital city - but he took it in his stride, and simply told David that "it disrupted my breakfast".

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Scottish and proud to help Ukraine: Gillian's Saltire Appeal directors Les Ward, on left, and David EnnisScottish and proud to help Ukraine: Gillian's Saltire Appeal directors Les Ward, on left, and David Ennis (Image: Gillian's Saltire Appeal)

The trip was organised by the charity Jeeps For Peace, and David and Brian were both driving in a convoy which included military vehicles for medical evacuation to help in the war effort.

Brian said: "We were part of a convoy of 30 vehicles as part of a very expensive operation with funds required for the fuel and basic accommodation, and we drove the whole 1,200 miles."

All the garments were in wrappers, some going back to excess stock when there used to be individual primary schools in Largs - so some will have Brisbane Primary and Kelburn Primary logos on them.

Jeeps for Peace is a group of ordinary people with a collective mission: to save lives in Ukraine. They have already taken 100 Jeeps to Ukraine for front-line humanitarian aid.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Once in Ukraine, each vehicle has to be modified before being sent to the front-line.

There they will be used to deliver critical supplies of food and medicines, evacuate civilians in danger and retrieve wounded soldiers from the front-line. They can then be rapidly transported to the vital medical teams.

Each vehicle directly saves lives and is invaluable and they now will also play a part in delivering important clothing to orphanages throughout the country.

Les said: "It is great to know that Brian and David have arrived back in Largs safely after an incredible trip.

"The families and kids were very grateful, and I am so glad that we have been able to help them."