A BUS company owner has helped a group fleeing war-torn Ukraine get to the UK.

Tom Druitt and a team from The Big Lemon Bus Company travelled to Hungary and Poland on Thursday, April 7, with essential aid and supplies for those fleeing the conflict.

And he picked up 14 refugees and a dog who had escaped Ukraine, helping them towards the UK.

The Argus: The Big Lemon bus dropping of supplies to a refugee centre in Zahony, HungaryThe Big Lemon bus dropping of supplies to a refugee centre in Zahony, Hungary

“One of the most important things was to show them that the world cares about them and their situation,” said Tom, who is also a Green councillor at Brighton and Hove City Council.

“We met a couple of children. There was a young boy, about six, who got on the bus and had a go with the wipers and horn.

“It was really worth it, we met a lot of people that were very grateful, not just for the support, but to know that people in other parts of the world were thinking about them and trying to help.”

The bus made its way through Hungary and on to Poland, making various drop-offs, each having made requests for specific items ahead of arrival.

After visiting various towns and refugee centres in need of help, the team began the 1,170 mile journey back to the UK, along with 14 people who are being sponsored under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The Argus: Katowice railway station, in PolandKatowice railway station, in Poland

They met at Katowice railway station in Poland, and set off for Brighton.

“We just put the word out on social media that we were doing the return journey and had seats available,” said Tom “It was very moving, and quite upsetting at times, very heart-warming at other times.

“You don’t like to ask people what situation they’ve come from; there was one woman in particular who was very sombre for most of the trip. I’ve no idea what her situation was.”

On the journey the team made seven stops, starting in Zahony, on the Hungarian border with Ukraine, providing clothing, food and drink to a full-time school that also coordinates support and accommodation for refugees after school hours.

Nine refugees made it back into the UK on Monday, April 18, while the remaining five dealt with outstanding paperwork in Dieppe, France.

The Argus: Travelling through Erfurt, GermanyTravelling through Erfurt, Germany

They were met by their sponsors at Brighton railway station, where they departed for various parts of the UK, including Chichester, Devon, Derbyshire, and Devon.

Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, people can sponsor a named Ukrainian or named Ukrainian family to stay with them, or in a separate property, according to the government website.