Ipswich former One Direction bodyguard calls for help for refugees

Andrew with his wife, Aiste, and their son, Jonas.

Andrew with his wife, Aiste, and their son, Jonas. The family moved to Aiste's home country of Lithuania after Andrew decided to leave security. They are doing all they can to help refugees arriving in their village. - Credit: Andrew Davies

An Ipswich man who used to be pop group One Direction’s bodyguard is calling for help, as he tries to get clothes and school uniforms for refugees arriving in his village in Lithuania. 

Andy Davies, 54, has been living in Lithuania with his wife, Aiste, and son, Jonas, for the past few years, where they run a school uniform business, Sunbutiksas. 

Now, as refugees from Ukraine begin to arrive in the village of Alksniupiai, he and Aiste are determined to do what they can to help. 

Ten years ago, however, he was accompanying One Direction on their first UK tour. 

“I decided to have a complete life change, so I put myself on a bodyguard course in London. I’d always liked looking out for people,” said Andy. 

“I became Team Leader of their security, and stayed with them all over the world for the next year. 

“We had an amazingly busy year. It was mad, absolutely mad.  

“I've got two daughters. In 2012, they were bang on it - I was the coolest dad in the area for a while." 

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When his son was born, Andy decided it was time to leave security behind, and departed for Lithuania with his wife and son to be closer their family. 

Andrew's friends in Ipswich, Edd Cottee, right, and David Cole, left, recently drove to his village with a van full of aid

Andrew's friends in Ipswich, Edd Cottee, right, and David Cole, left, have recently driven to Andrew's village with a van full of aid for refugees, collected by people in Suffolk. - Credit: Edd Cottee

Since the war in Ukraine, Lithuanian refugees have begun arriving in his quiet, rural village. 

“We just want to focus on something we can do. We know full well they’re going to need school uniform, and that’s something we can do,” said Andy. 

“We had some kids down at the weekend and supplied some general clothing and school uniform.  

“The heartbreaking thing was a little 13-year-old girl. 

“As my wife gave her the stuff, her mother said, ‘I can’t pay for this,’ through the translator. 

“We had to say, we’re not asking for anything. The people are proud, they don’t want to take charity.” 

Andy and Aiste are continuing to offer school uniforms to displaced children in their village, and hope to expand their efforts even further as the more arrive in Lithuania. 

To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/andrew-davies-642