‘Pick up a pie in Hitchin’s Market Place and help Polynesia disaster victims’


Shelterbox - Credit: Thomas Lay

Charity supporters can tuck into a tasty event in Hitchin town centre on Saturday to help relieve the suffering of families in disaster areas all over the world.

The Shelter Box scheme, which provides vital emergency aid in the wake of natural disasters wherever they happen, is a project supported by many Rotary clubs.

Each box costs around £600 and – although they are tailored to each disaster area where they are needed – they typically contain a family tent, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and an activity pack for children.

The Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse is hosting a Pies For Polynesia event in Market Place on Saturday, when all sorts of baked goods will be on sale.

Victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines and cyclone-hit communities in Vanuatu in the Polynesian archipelago are some of the latest recipients of Shelter Box aid, but kits have also been used in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and during the continuing crisis in Syria.

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The club’s Sue Manning said: “These emergency supplies support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster, delivering the essentials people need to rebuild their lives.

“Money raised following one disaster generally ends up being used to replenish stock ready for the next emergency, which could be in a completely different part of the world.

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“Many of these events never make the headlines, but are just as big a disaster for those affected.”

As well as the pies and other goodies, the club will be putting up a Shelter Box tent and showing passers-by just how the money raised is spent.

Over the past two years pupils at Hitchin Boys’ School have raised enough cash to pay for eight Shelter boxes, and The Priory School has confirmed that its annual charity week later this year will also be supporting the cause.

Click here to find out more about the Shelter Box scheme

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