Rotarians raise £11k for disaster relief charity

Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse

Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse has raised £11,800 for ShelterBox - Credit: Courtesy of ShelterBox

The Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse has raised more than £11,000 for ShelterBox - a charity that provides emergency shelter and other essential items to people across the world who have lost their homes to conflict or disaster.

It comes as ShelterBox launches an emergency fundraising appeal to help people in Pakistan after deadly flash floods devastated large parts of the country.

The charity has an emergency response team in Pakistan working to get emergency shelter aid to thousands of people left with nowhere to live, it explained, adding that around one million houses have been damaged or destroyed, leaving millions of people in need of urgent shelter.

ShelterBox’s aid will include tents, water filters and carriers, mosquito nets and solar lights.

To coincide with ShelterBox's 20th anniversary, the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse has raised £11,800, which will fund 20 ShelterBoxes.

The 20@20 campaign was led by Rotarians Stella Farr and Susan Downie. As well as being generously supported by rotary members, businesses and Scouts group, the club launched a Tea in a Tent fundraiser, where community members were encouraged to hold coffee mornings and afternoons outside in a tent to help raise crucial funds.

Stella explained: “Tents are synonymous with ShelterBox’s support in global disasters, and Tea in a Tent was born out of desperation. As the pandemic and the restrictions continued, meeting outside under shelter became the only safe way to socialise.

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“Our normal fundraising avenues were not available to us, but we were determined to reach the target we had promised ourselves and ShelterBox with our 20@20 campaign.”

Fiona Turner, ShelterBox’s rotary engagement officer, said: “Millions of families are currently living without adequate shelter after disaster, and it’s support from community groups like the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse that helps ShelterBox better meet the needs of the people who need support."

As well as Pakistan, ShelterBox is currently helping people affected by the war in Ukraine, and the severe and ongoing drought in East Africa, as well as recently providing aid to 100,000 people in the Philippines after Typhoon Rai ripped through island communities.

For more about ShelterBox, visit shelterbox.org.