PEOPLE in a Test Valley town have been helping to raise thousands of pounds for those in need in Ukraine and to send drones to the war-torn country.

A group called StockbridgeUkraine have organised fundraising events since the war broke out on February 24, 2022, but it has now started sending second-hand “Mavik” hobby drones to the frontline in Ukraine.

Organised by resident Nicholas Raby, the Omega Drone Club sends drones to Ukraine, so that they can be flown on the frontline for vital command and control tasks, all helping to save Ukrainian lives. 

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Andover Advertiser: Left, Ukrainian soldiers receiving the drones. Right, the drones being demonstrated at aIn a video message translated to the group, Ukrainian Commander Vanya said: “I want to remind you once again how exactly they are useful for our work. They are useful for us precisely because, thanks to the Maviks, we save a lot of servicemen's lives. How exactly? By carrying out reconnaissance and additional reconnaissance of the enemy's positions."

The video added: “I’m very grateful to you. Your help is invaluable to us. We thank you very much.”

Speaking about the project, Stockbridge resident Amanda Lambert said: “This is now a successful and ongoing project. I have learned to identify and purchase these drones, check them over and test fly them to make sure they are in excellent working order and ready for action as soon as they reach the front in Ukraine.”

Funding for the drones has so far come from Nicholas seeking donations from friends, relatives and acquaintances, but a couple of social events to raise more money have taken place with more planned in the future.

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“Each drone costs between £400 and £500. Together our fundraising has so far raised just over £16,000 enabling us to purchase and send 38 drones,” Amanda said.

“With the exception of a few specific requests for drones from known contacts, all our drones are sent to a Ukrainian commander currently fighting with his troops at Avdiivka in the Donetsk region where, since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the town has been shattered by Russian missiles and the population has shrunk from 30,000 to 1,000.”

Residents are being asked to spare their time to help carry on the drone project and hold fundraising events. To take part, go to

As part of StockbridgeUkraine's fundraising, in June, artist and resident Sally Milligan held an auction of promises raising £24,355 for Alex Lewis’ fund FLOAT (short for For the Love of Assisted Technology).

These funds will help Ukrainian soldiers, civilians and children needing prosthetics developed specifically by Alex, in conjunction with Southampton university.  

People are being asked to donate funds or time to help StockbridgeUkraine raise more money for those in need. 

To find out more, go to