As a result of our first aid run to the Polish / Ukraine border in May 2022, we have been working closely with the family run, Dundee based, charity Siobhan’s Trust www.siobhanstrust.uk who have been tireless, with a team of volunteers, working under the slogan “Make Pizza not War!”. David Fox-Pitt invited us to come back and travel into Ukraine to see, first hand, the work that he and his volunteers do from their base in Lviv and since that first trip we have returned 4 times. Our last visit was in March 2023 when we were delighted to have Troels Henriksen of Eden Aid along with us (on the Sedbergh Wolf, a bespoke 6 oven pizza truck made possible by the generosity of the Sedbergh School community) and had the privilege of serving thousands of vulnerable Ukrainians in and around Kyiv, including in and around the previously occupied cities of Bucha and Irpin.
Eden Aid working with Siobhans’s Trust
There is nothing so powerful as to witness in person the resilience and indomitable spirit of these desperate people and the sense of unity that drives Ukrainians to open their doors, hearts and minds in an almost overwhelming spirit of shared community, affection and love for their fellow citizens. Troels said, “There is often no economy where we visit, the people come out of buildings that are half destroyed by Russian shelling, and what Siobhan’s Trust provides is not just pizza and a smiling face but a realisation that the West cares, we are there supporting them in these very tough times and that gives them hope … and that is very special.”
David’s team is now based entirely within Ukraine. Siobhan’s Trust have 7 pizza vans (50,000 pizzas are donated per month from ITALPIZZA Bologna and Dr Oetker, Germany) and two refrigerated support vehicles which go directly to where the most vulnerable families are; be it in and around Lviv, in Kyiv or as far east as Kharkiv and south as Odessa. The ever-changing nature of the war means that, in reality, the vans are able to track and respond to the need as it moves around the country, working in partnership with the police who see this vital work as a massive boost to their hearts and minds mission. On average 4-5,000 people per day are fed pizza, along with fruit, vegetables and ice cream (60,000 ice creams have been donated), with cuddly toys, footballs, clothes and sweets also given to the children.
A significant amount of donated aid has been delivered to the Siobhan’s Trust depot on the Ukraine border by Eden Aid and the teams work very effectively together. The aid is then distributed through the Trust’s fleet of vehicles and through trusted partners.
What do Siobhan’s Trust need? Volunteers to staff the vehicles, financial donations to support core costs and donated aid. The work will continue in Ukraine as long as needed.