On the Frontline: Doctors in Ukraine & How You Can Help

To describe Jenny Beesley’s life as full would be an understatement. UK born, Jenny was raised by her mother. After training as a fighter jet pilot with the Royal Air Force, she moved to New Zealand to the University of Auckland where she trained in medicine.
She has worked in emergency medicine in hospitals in New Zealand but also in roles in medicine in remote places. This complimented her love of the outdoors where she enjoys mountaineering, skiing, kayaking, walking and participating in LandSAR.

Our association with Jenny Beesley started in 2018 when she started Mountain Doctors and ordered a set of clothing that she could rely on whatever the conditions.

Jenny’s wardrobe includes:

Merino boxers, Merino Long Johns, Power Wool T,  Power Dry Long Sleeve, Metro, Contour Long Sleeve, Prolite Straights, Katipo, Spoke, Raptor, Zeal Guide, Rocket Salopettes, Vent X Extreme, Nano Primaloft.

Jenny and Mountain Doctors pre Ukraine:


March 2019: The Mountain Doctors team providing medical support to the Foster’s family-run full mountain marathon on Ben Lomond station. The Power Wool and Power Dry tops were particularly appreciated in the hot sunshine!


Oct 2019

‘I’ll be up in Christchurch 14-18 October for a course, so I’ll try and pop in to say hi. Might need my soft-shell pants repairing, as they’re used so much that I’ve put a couple holes in them!

The Raptor is straight-up my favourite piece of gear.  I wear it to work everyday, as well as in the mountains and away on outdoor work.  Despite the abuse, it’s holding up really well.’

June 2020: ‘Hello from Bali. I’ve chosen to weather the covid storm somewhere warmer than Colac Bay. Not much work in the mountains to be had right now! Or locum rural hospital work, for that matter. My EarthSeaSky gear is still helping me out on those cooler morning surf checks.. shame the beaches are all closed..’

August 2021

‘The Rocket Guides are the absolute business.  Quite a few people have asked me “what are your new pants?”.  I’ve even remembered how to unclip the braces…! Very cool. Thanks so much for sorting them out so quickly!’

Jenny Beesley 15 April 2022

Jenny: Hey I was just wondering – would you be able to supply the zeal guide and nano jackets (like I already have) but in dark colours like black and green? May need asap.

Earth Sea Sky: We can do anything, mostly! Time frames are an issue, particularly for a special cut. The Zeal Guide has just been cut. What is your timeline?

We are about to make up some Nanos. We have all black in the cut. Would an all black one work for you? These should be through by the end of May.

Jenny: I’ve volunteered to go to Ukraine. I am not sure yet if they need me (am waiting to hear back). Some dark gear may help me be less of a target, was the thinking..So I really don’t know timeframes. I’d imagine it would be before May, though, if they do ask me to go – things are getting worse pretty quickly over there.

Earth Sea Sky: The small Zeals will be cut today or tomorrow. Do you want a dark green one made? (check out the Hydrophobia online to see the dark teal)

Jenny: Black or Dark Teal would be great.
If you have time to get my Mountain Doctors logo embroidered on a panel somewhere as before, that may help me prove I’m not military…

1st May: Jenny: Looks like I’m going.  ETD 16th May.

What dya reckon will be ready by then, gear wise?

2nd May: Earth Sea Sky…From the factory this morning:
The mountain doctors zeal guide is on line already, the nano will go on line tomorrow. We will do our best to get them done in time for the lovely customer. 

4th May: At Earth Sea Sky HQ
Jenny called through Christchurch en route to visit her special spot in Southland. Her 3-hour stopover turned out to be overnight due to fog moving in! Perfect timing for the Nano and Zeal Guide to arrive from the factory.

Thanks to our team who co-ordinated production and our committed machinists we were able to make our contribution to the Ukraine effort via our gift to Jenny of her special Nano and Zeal Guide with matching Pico and Merino T.

Jenny in her custom Zeal Guide at Earth Sea Sky HQ.

The biggest thank-you is to Jenny, who has put everything on the line to take her skills and experience where they are so badly needed.

10/10/22 From Jenny:

I need some merino thermals. Size Large. And some of your men’s merino undies, also large. And merino winter socks size EUR45.  For my  good friend, Sergii .

It is surprisingly difficult to get good merino over here. Synthetics and mixed merino/synthetic are no problem but the benefits they afford as a first layer are totally negated by the fact that we can seldom wash our gear…


Lviv in Winter – From Jenny

21st Nov:

Just wanted to say a quick hello. I am very much enjoying not always wearing my combat gear.
It is getting cold here in Kyiv and my Nano Primaloft and Zeal are keeping me dry and toasty as I go around the city organising medical supplies and personnel for our new battalion. Even in my uniform, my base layers are always ESS merino – I tossed out the issued stuff long ago. By ‘tossing it out’ I mean, I could give it to some of our guys who don’t have enough kit. So not only are you clothing me, but you’re indirectly clothing our lads, too!

Speaking of which, I think there’s a package for me to pick up from my friend  and it may well be from you. We haven’t been able to fetch it yet because the postshop keeps having blackouts and cannot open (thanks to the well-publicised Russian tactic of targeting civilian infrastructure in all parts of Ukraine).

Guys keep asking me “how are you lot gonna manage in the winter?”. Answer’s easy: skin is waterproof and if you have good outdoor gear, you don’t even need to test that theory!

Thanks – from all of us

25 Nov

Jenny…..war is 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror, so I have a lot of time on my hands, typically.

Yes the cold is here to stay. People are pretty tough and resilient here – not dissimilar to Kiwis. I think that just makes it all the easier to be here and do what I can.”

Jenny’s latest ride: “we take the crosses off for the frontline otherwise they make good targets for the Russian snipers, unfortunately…”

How You Can Help Us Help Jenny and Her Team

With the help of Jase Blair a special piece of pounamu was sourced on Jenny’s behalf for her commander. The response to the kind offer of a contribution to this was turned down but Jenny asked if the kind offer could instead be diverted to purchase two pairs of Merino Long Johns. Others have since indicated that they would be keen to help too.

Jenny is in contact with her friend working with civilians working in the hospital in the south (Mykolaiv) and with military. Any new pieces or relatively new, good condition, Earth Sea Sky merino or fleece clothing would be put to good use.

If you would like to help you can contribute by purchasing a gift voucher.

We will use any contributions to put together a combination of  merino clothing in sizes and layers that Jenny advises on.

Note on your address that it is for:

Mountain Doctors, Ukraine


You can also donate any second hand Earth Sea Sky merino that could be worn by the team in Ukraine.


15 Bernard Street
Christchurch 8024

We ask that all donations be purchased/ sent by 20th December 2022.

Why Merino?
It is surprisingly difficult to get good merino over here. Synthetics and mixed merino/synthetic are no problem but the benefits they afford as a first layer are totally negated by the fact that we can seldom wash our gear…


September 2023

Jenny Beesley Ukraine Update: 

Jenny Beesley and her team in Ukraine

Jenny Beesley is a Kiwi based doctor working on the frontline in Ukraine. We were overwhelmed with all the support for Jenny and her team through our Ukraine fundraiser at the end of last year. Helium Jackets were included in the clothing the fundraiser enabled us to supply.

The reality of war hit home in April when Jenny stood on a land mine. Despite having had her foot reconstructed and a finger missing, her spirit is not diminished, and she continues to support her team.

“I know my lads are grateful for their Earth Sea Sky fleeces, merino garments and socks now that winter is coming. Much love from all of them back to NZ.”

December 2023

In her usual spirited manner, Jenny has pushed through the challenges serious injuries from standing on the landmine in April. Though her newly built foot and hand, minus finger, are working she cannot do the medical work she was previously.
Undeterred, she is back in Ukraine and is working with doctors suffering from PTSD due to their long periods working on the frontline.
She has put a call out for merino under layers for 6 of her team.

Jenny messaged: ‘Minus 10 here now!! Too tricky and sensitive to send photos…..it’s been a really tough week’. 

We hope to supply Jenny with sets that include Satellite, Merino Long Johns, Socks and  Neck Warmers.
Jenny is using her own resources to manage financially and does not expect help. If you can help, please create a voucher to the value you would like and note ‘Jenny Ukraine’ for recipient.