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A local businessman has teamed up with family, friends and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, to organise the UK’s only beer and beef festival – all to raise money for motor neurone disease research charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

Ian Bell, who is himself in a wheelchair following a car accident in his twenties, owns and runs three businesses; Abbotside Events, The Whole Roast Ox and The Dales Bar, under the name Spenrigg Limited.

Ian said: “I’m a huge Newcastle Falcons fan. Doddie Weir played for them and remained heavily involved following his retirement, often compering man of the match presentations in the bar after the game.

“I’ve always admired Doddie and was devastated to hear of his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease. His response to the situation has blown me away, he’s incredibly brave and selfless, setting up a foundation to try and find a cure. I wanted to help raise funds, and a beer and beef festival seemed the natural thing to do.”

Ian, whose sister Nicola and her husband Andy farm at Springhill which will host the festival, has been working hard with their support and assistance from other local businesses who are keen to be involved.

The festival takes place 22nd September at Springhill Farm, near Masham. In addition to fantastic meat from The Whole Roast Ox, which comes from Springhill Farm’s Dexter herd, and a number of fantastic local beers, festival-goers will enjoy live music from bands including Chasing Mumford, and Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar. Camping is available and local shuttle buses will operate to and from the venue.

Doddie Weir, founder of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “A festival of beer and beef? Two of my favourite things, what’s not to love? This is a fantastic event and I am delighted that Ian and his team are staging the festival to support us.

“We have been blown away by the level of support we have received since I shared my diagnosis and launched My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in November at Murrayfield. We have already committed over £500,000 to research and more will follow. We are also supporting those affected by Motor Neurone Disease and this is only possible through the efforts of people like Ian and the festival-goers.”

The festival is being supported by Yorkshire Dales National Park, whose valuable contribution has taken the form of both assisting in event planning and also a grant to help cover marketing and the hire of marquees to ensure that the event is weatherproof.

Ian added: “Local businesses have really pulled together to support the festival and I’d like to express my thanks to them for making this happen. I look forward to seeing as many people as possible at the Beer and Beef Festival, raising vital funds for a currently incurable disease.”

For more information on the festival and for tickets, see www.beerandbeef.co.uk

Twitter: @BeerandBeefFes1

For more information on My Name’5 Doddie foundation, see www.myname5doddie.co.uk

Twitter: @MNDoddie5

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