Joe Gibbs Belladrum Estate

 

A pizza wagon sponsored by Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has arrived in Poland to feed Ukrainian refugees at the Poland/Ukraine border. Festival founder Joe Gibbs, his son Eion and daughter Jeanie have set up camp with the pizza wagon and a van packed with food supplies. The Auld Smokey pizza van in a converted longwheel-based Landrover has generously been lent by its owner Lewis Lilburn from Lentran and prepared by Quentin Stevens of The STOREHOUSE of Foulis where it has cooked pizzas for the past year.

In all-round Highland initiative, Fred and Soph Swift of South Clunes Farm, Kirkhill, have lent their Mercedes van which is transporting the food and will then supply a place to sleep. Aird Motors in Beauly worked against the clock to get the van through its MOT and on the road to Poland. The initiative is taking place under the auspices of Siobahn’s trust The Belladrum crew will be joining Joe’s brother-in-law David Fox-Pitt from Loch Tay whose idea the mission was and who has just set up a food outlet at the Medyka border crossing into the South-East of Poland, a country which has already taken in over 1.4 million Ukrainian refugees with many more likely to come.

David said “I have lots of ideal equipment through my business WildFox Events Ltd and I was moved to take action and offer practical help in these tragic circumstances. We look forward to the arrival of the Bella team but despite the generators and portaloos this is no festival."

Joe and his family have years of event management experience having set up the very first Belladrum Festival at the family estate near Beauly. They now run a range of events including “The Gathering Festival” in Inverness. The pandemic saw a pause in this type of event which allowed them to adapt and meet the challenges of another crisis in Ukraine. Using these transferable skills and equipment ancillary to the business they pulled together community goodwill from the Highlands to deliver food and care to the Ukraine. Joe worked to pull together with other local farmers and food producers to get this initiative going. This meant rallying support in the local highland area and beyond.