A former mobile dental unit used by NHS Tayside is heading to the front line of the conflict in Ukraine.
It is all thanks to Tayside and Strathearn Help for Ukraine, the charity set up following Russia’s invasion last year.
It has already sent more than 50 lorry loads of aid to Ukraine.
Its packages have included everything from fire extinguishers and wheelchairs to teddy bears.
Now, the charity is preparing to embark on its latest venture in its surplus-to-requirements mobile dental unit.
The vehicle, which was being used as recently as March by NHS Tayside for people who couldn’t access dental treatment, was bought at auction for £8,000.
The vehicle is booked on to a ferry on July 12.
‘Contacts in Ukraine biting our hand off’ for dental unit
Perth businessman Kenny Simpson is a principal co-ordinator with the charity.
He said that despite the unit being 20 years old, it is in “excellent condition”.
Mr Simpson said: “It was put up for auction and we were successful with an £8,000 bid.
“We had got in touch beforehand with our contacts in Ukraine to see if it would be something they could make use of.
“The answer came back within the hour. They were biting our hand off.”
The unit, which has been nicknamed Dennis, will head to the front line to be used by military personnel along with civilians.
He continued: “The unit may be 20 years old, but it is in excellent condition.
“A dental engineer inspected it, did a little bit of re-wiring and assured us everything was in perfect working order.
“We were only lacking X-ray and sterilising machines.
“Since the acquisition, a sterilising unit has been generously donated by industry supplier Henry Schein Dental.”
Mr Simpson will drive the 1,200-mile journey to Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.
The trip will take three days and the vehicle will also be packed with toiletries and other essentials.
Mr Simpson adds the charity is fundraising to cover the ferry fare of £700 alongside fuel for the journey.
Tayside and Strathearn Help for Ukraine charity hails ‘incredible’ response
Mr Simpson has called the response to the Tayside and Strathearn Help for Ukraine charity “incredible”.
He said: “A group of us got together within days of the invasion, with the aim of providing much-needed food, clothing and toiletries to refugees fleeing the horrors.
“It’s incredible to think we have sent more than 50 lorry loads to support families whose lives have been turned upside down by a savage conflict here in Europe.
“The 55th lorry load headed out from our Errol Airfield base on Friday.
“The total aid contributed by our supporters across Scotland has to be in the region of £2 million.
Mr Simpson said that the charity is regularly receiving donations from Aberdeen, Inverness and the central belt.
Mr Simpson said: “We have even received loads from Sheffield and Sedbergh.
“We can’t ease up now. As ever, the demand is high for clothing, medicines and toiletries.”