Two Blackpool-based entrepreneurs have joined forces to unite local businesses to aid the People of Ukraine, whilst also being able to also support SMEs in the UK.
The new Non-Profit Community Interest Company titled Project Fenix is a medium to long-term reconstruction mechanism to support Ukraine and help Ukrainians rebuild their lives, homes, and communities.
Members of the team who have been in the country for over two months now have been engaged in several humanitarian efforts in some of the most hostile and demanding areas.
- Getting much needed medical aid to high-risk areas
- Evacuating vulnerable people from high-risk areas
- Bringing together humanitarian organisations and implementing and managing humanitarian corridors across the country.
- Clearing ordnance from former conflict areas and helping make reconstruction efforts safe
- Creating employment opportunities and support through a managed service
- Plans to rebuild telecoms, education, healthcare, and community infrastructure.
- Project Fenix has produced best practice operational safety guide for volunteers coming into the country.
Project Fenix is giving something back to donors by delivering a new service line aimed at creating jobs for out of work and displaced skilled Ukrainian people with British SMEs providing an income for those in desperate need whilst also facilitating service provision to Small Businesses who may currently be struggling financially after the impact of COVID-19. Being a non-profit venture, any profits raised during this are allocated to reconstruction projects to help rebuild schools, hospitals, parks, and other community-focused infrastructure within Ukraine once the war comes to an end.
Gary Edwards is a Blackpool Based businessman, Partner of Lateo Hospitality (which also owns South Shores Lateo cocktail bar) and owner of Cyber Security Consultancy Lateo Risk. Gary is a British Army Veteran with a wealth of experience in hostile environments gained from several years in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since leaving the Army he has worked as a Security Consultant for a number of high-profile clients across the world. Gary’s experience and connections in this area have been key to building a team of high-calibre ex-military people who are used to operating in the high-risk areas.
Gary was one of the first UK nationals on the ground in Ukraine – he deployed almost immediately after the invasion and quickly developed a strong network and proved safe routes to help another organisation (Veterans Army) in getting urgent medical supplies to the front line.
“one of the main issues from a humanitarian aid perspective is that people are coming into Ukraine with the best intentions, but potentially without the understanding of the risk or the capability to operate in these types of environments. Whilst we can’t stop people for putting themselves at risk, after seeing two British Aid workers captured at a Russian checkpoint, we felt at the very least we can help people prepare better. There is also issues with fuel etc and a lot of people don’t realise that their good intentions of driving through Ukraine are actually putting added pressure on the situation, Project Fenix helps coordinate and bring together these supply routes ensuring a more efficient support line which is also safer for volunteers,”
Jon Boriss, also a Blackpool-based businessman, and partner of Digital Agency, Meridian Marketing & also Meridian Estates & Lettings is a Photography and Digital Marketing Professional. Jon, who is originally from Manchester, has spent his entire career in Photography and Marketing and worked with numerous hospitality businesses across the UK. During the Pandemic Jon worked with Gary on establishing at COVID-19 Task Force which deployed before national support to aid those who were shielding, ensuring they had food and any required medicines they needed, to endure the national lockdowns.
During the lockdowns, Jon worked with Schools throughout Lancashire delivering Virtual Reality tours of their buildings allowing them to run online open days so that prospective students could view their new schools and help the students and their parents make the important decision on which School to join. Jon also lent his skills to charitable causes running online fundraising throughout the year and helping to raise over £3000 for local charities, and later received a Covid-19 Hero award from the Mayor of Wyre and a Royal Commendation from HRH The Duke of Kent.
Together they created Project Fenix to help Ukraine recover from the devasting recent events. Now critical aid is reaching the country, the people who have stayed are facing high amounts of disruption from losing their homes families, and employment, resulting in financial pressures for them in what is already an incredibly distressing time.
The successful project is already demonstrating “best practice” for other humanitarian organisations in the country and is gaining strong momentum from UK businesses and volunteers. Even with this it is still a drop in the ocean on the support needed to help Ukraine recover.
If you are interested in supporting Project Fenix, there are a number of ways you can get involved:
- Corporate Partners – Regular or substantial support from our partners is urgently needed to sustain in-country infrastructure and life support from which the projects can be delivered.
- Fundraisers – the project currently has no government funding and is reliant on direct and regular donations.
- Public support and awareness – sharing, endorsing, and supporting our media and cause.
- Products/services we can use at local fundraising and raffles etc.
- Managed Services – Connecting unemployed people in Ukraine with UK work by creating and selling a managed service. This will create jobs for Ukrainians and ensure they get paid fairly so they can start to rebuild their lives and any profits made from this will fund the reconstruction projects in healthcare, education, and communities in Ukraine. These projects will be selected and managed by the Ukraine locals in the area. This is a simple concept to help give something back to those who donate, help the people of Ukraine help themselves, and will of course no doubt lead to other types of services and projects.
- Pay forward our managed services for local SMEs.
- Intro to any high-profile connections who may wish to become patrons to help raise awareness and share the outcomes of the project.
- Directors, Non-Exec Directors, Bid writers, and Advisors are needed to help steer and govern the organization accordingly.
- Become an ambassador. Fly our flag and help raise our awareness through your network.
For enquiries and more information please contact email@example.com