Anonymous £10k boost to Knaresborough man’s Ukraine fire engine appeal
Last updated Aug 18, 2023
Bob Frendt and Maureen at the Eurovision party for Ukraine
Bob and Maureen Frendt

A fundraising campaign by a Knaresborough man to buy a fire engine to send to Ukraine has received a £10,000 donation.

Bob Frendt was hoping to raise £20,000 to buy the appliance and send it to Volodymyr, which had its fire engines commandeered by the army in the fight against Russia.

However, he said he was worrying the total was unachievable, after getting stuck at £7,000 for several weeks.

He told the Stray Ferret:

“I was getting a bit depressed and very stressed over it. I was thinking, ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew’, making promises I couldn’t keep and letting people down.

“Then I got this call out of the blue from a man who came to a fundraising folk night in Wetherby and heard me say a few words about what I was doing.

“He said he wanted to make a donation and asked for my bank details. He didn’t say how much – but when I saw it come through, I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m still buzzing now. I can’t believe it has happened. It just shows you what wonderful people there are around.”

The donor has asked to remain anonymous, but said the money was taken from a legacy left by his mother after she died earlier this year.

The man told Mr Frendt she was always a generous supporter of good causes, and had left him “more than he could ever spend” in her will.

In recognition of their generosity, Mr Frendt said he will name the fire engine after the man’s mother.

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Now, he is working with a former fire officer to source an appliance that he can take across Europe and hand over to the fire service in Volodymyr.

He added:

“I just need to raise the last £3,000 now.

“The paperwork shouldn’t take too long to get sorted. Hopefully, we can get it to Volodymyr before the end of October, when the weather closes in.

“If we can’t do that, we’re looking at not doing it until the end of March next year. I don’t want to leave it that long – they’ve got to have that fire engine.”

To help him take his funds from £17,000 to the total, Knot Another Choir will be performing a fundraising concert at Trinity Church in Knaresborough on October 6.

Tickets are £10 and available to buy online in advance.

Donations can also be made via Mr Frendt’s Just Giving page.