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Execs raise over £10K for daring charity sleep-out in Ukraine

On February 22nd, three executives from insurance risk advisory firm Inherent Risks started their journey to Ukraine. Their mission - to sleep outside in the country’s capital Kyiv for two-nights to signify the two-year anniversary of Russia invading the country.

From the 23rd to 25th February, risk and crisis experts, Dan Kaine, Matt Hooper and Mike O’Halloran slept outside with minimal equipment and clothing to simulate as closely as possible what it’s like to be homeless, in freezing temperatures, in a war zone.

The trio, all British military veterans, first entered Ukraine within hours of Russia firing its first missiles on Kyiv in 2022. The desperation they witnessed as thousands of people fled the country led them to make a pact that they would do as much good as possible while in the country.

Now, two-years on, Inherent Risks is the leading provider of risk advisory, medical evacuation and crisis response services on behalf of Lloyd’s and company market insurers. And in that time, they have facilitated the sourcing and delivery of over £1m in critical medical supplies and cold weather clothing to frontline hospitals.

In this latest campaign, Inherent Risks chose to raise funds for REACT Disaster Response, via a Go Fund Me page which has surpassed their goal of £10,000 raised. 100% of the funds raised will be used to help the most vulnerable and desperate people in Ukraine.

Among the corporate donors to this campaign were Atrium Underwriters, Inigo Insurance and Travel & Health Insurance Series (THIS), as well as donations from individuals across the insurance industry and beyond.

The campaign also garnered celebrity help from Ross Kemp, who has worked with Inherent Risks on past projects, and published a video across his social media channels to support ‘good friends of his’. Another celebrity who wishes to remain anonymous, donated £1,000 to kick-off the campaign.

Dan Kaine, Managing Partner of Inherent Risks said, “Within 30-minutes of starting the sleep-out on the first night, the wind had picked up and it started raining, plummeting the wind chill temperature to -1°C. And then came the sound of air raid sirens. It brought an instant realisation and appreciation of what individuals and families are faced with each night. Being forced from their homes, in freezing temperatures, with no feeling of safety or security.”

Due to wartime curfew laws which start at midnight, Inherent Risks had to obtain prior permission from the Chief of Kyiv City Police to be outdoors all night. To the trios surprise, the Chief of Police met with them personally and escorted them to a park they had chosen in the city. He also directed two armed police officers to check on the trio every hour throughout the night.

Mike O’Halloran, Partner and Director of Global Assistance said, “Experiencing this on a Friday and Saturday night brought an added and somewhat unexpected perspective. While Ukraine is an active war zone, in the cities much of life has carried on as normal, which includes packed restaurants, bars and nightclubs before curfew. Being homeless, in a park, especially on a weekend, means that not only are you dealing with an austere and somewhat miserable way of life, but you also have the added complexities of being visible to intoxicated people, and gangs of youth walking the streets looking for ways to fill their time.”

When speaking to the trio, all said that while as British military veterans and avid outdoorsmen they are no stranger to hostile environments and cold weather, this experience was different. They were without their specialist equipment and creature comforts, and were very much in harms way. They were out in the open, in the vicinity of government buildings, and on both nights, missiles and drones fired at Ukraine by Russia numbered in the hundreds.

“If only for a short time, it gave a very real insight of the vulnerabilities that Ukrainians face every single night.” Said Dan Kaine.

Russia invaded Ukraine in the early hours of February 24th, 2022 while millions of innocent people slept soundly in their beds. Within 36-hours of the invasion, Inherent Risks deployed to Ukraine to conduct emergency evacuations. They have been in the country ever since providing emergency medical evacuation, crisis response and insurance support to journalists, NGOs, war crimes investigators and visiting dignitaries.

About REACT Disaster Response:

REACT harnesses the skills and experiences of military veterans and first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams around the world in the wake of conflict and disaster.

About Inherent Risks:

Inherent Risks is a global risk advisory and crisis response firm enabling organisations to navigate and mitigate complex and unusual risks in politically and geographically challenging regions.


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