Since the war began in Ukraine, the small Scotland-based charity Siobhan’s Trust has been tireless, with a team of volunteers working under the slogan “Make Pizza not War!”
They now operate six pizza vans and, guided by local police and officials, they are able to meet, feed and support the most vulnerable women, children and elderly across the country. The pizza vans feed approximately 5,000 people every day reaching as far as Lviv, Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Odesa.
In November 2022 the headmaster of Sedbergh School, Dan Harrison, and housemaster Stuart Oliver approached Joe Mycielski, a Casterton Sedbergh Prep School parent and member of the Siobhan’s Trust team. They asked to travel to Ukraine and see for themselves the impact of the charity’s work.
Within days they were manning the pizza ovens in and around Lviv, helping the displaced, shell-shocked, hungry and scared. The experience was impactful and life changing.
Dan Harrison said: “At the end of our emotional visit it was clear that another pizza van would make a huge difference to operations in Ukraine. We therefore decided to commission a 7.5 tonne truck, kit her out with six pizza ovens, storage and even accommodation for the driver and name her The Wolf – after the Sedbergh Schools’ emblem.
“In a matter of weeks, the Sedbergh School community raised over £65,000 and The Wolf became reality. We were able to introduce her to the Sedbergh community and test her pizza making skills at our annual Morgan Run before she made her way east to Ukraine.”
David Fox-Pitt, founder of Siobhan’s Trust, says, “A huge thank you to the amazing Sedbergh School community for their extraordinary generosity and support. It was an honour hosting Dan and Stuart last year where they witnessed first-hand the situation on the ground. The Wolf will be an amazing addition to our fleet. Thank you so much for this.”
In addition to supporting Siobhan’s Trust’s food, hot drink and morale mission the Sedbergh schools and local communities have collected over 600 boxes of aid including more food, warm clothes, cuddly toys, sanitary and medical items. This aid has gone directly to where it is needed most and is often distributed by the pizza vans themselves.
Joe Mycielski said: “The war rages on, Ukrainians continue to die, winter is still biting very hard but knowing that The Wolf is on the road and making such a difference is heart-warming. It is a humbling initiative to be part of; amazing what can be achieved amongst a small northern community with a big heart; little by little, little becomes a lot.”