Incredible Harrogate Whitney links up with Prince Charles’s goddaughter for new Ukraine mercy mission

A successful Harrogate pilates instructor has linked up with Prince Charles’s goddaughter as she collects again for her sixth truck of humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:08 pm

Independent businesswoman Whitney Vauvelle is working with International humanitarian charity Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) which now has a large warehouse in Warsaw, as well as one inside Ukraine itself.

So far, GEM has distributed aid into 55 cities and relocated more 18,000 refugees from Ukraine.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

Helping the people of Ukraine - India Hicks carrying a Ukranian child across the Polish border.

Whitney, who is a specialist pilates instructor with her own studio in Harrogate, said: “Entrepreneur, designer and author India Hicks; goddaughter to Prince Charles, is on the board of GEM and will be going back to Poland and Ukraine in a couple of weeks.

“She’s asked for our help in gathering specific items for our sixth full size truck of humanitarian aid for Ukraine from the Harrogate and Yorkshire community.

"India is currently doing her first aid course with St John Ambulance in preparation for her return to Poland and Ukraine later this month.

"GEM is all about smart partnerships and collaborating with specialist organisations.

"India's grandmother, Edwina Mountbatten, was previously the patron of St John Ambulance and through India's connections, we will be transporting medical aid from St John Ambulance on our next truck leaving Harrogate."

How you can best help Ukraine...

Harrogate businesswoman Whitney Lauvelle’s JustGiving page aims to raise funds to support international charity Global Empowerment Mission for Ukraine to get aid in and refugees out to stable and secure housing.


To help Whitney Vauvelle, call: 07860922600 or email [email protected]

To donate to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal, visit

To record your interest in becoming a part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, visit:

One tip to speed up the process, is to register with relevant charity sites which match sponsors to families.

Among these are

The Harrogate District of Sanctuary Group advises going to the following websites:;;

Leeds-based Campervan travel agent GOAT RoadTrip has set up a team of volunteers to arrange transport for Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK and match them up with British host families. Volunteers can register their interest via