While many were camping under canvas on holidays or at music festivals recently, members of the Rotary Club of Northallerton erected a Shelterbox tent and contents display outside the Northallerton Town Hall to demonstrate this remarkable way of helping people displaced from their homes by natural disasters.

Rotary has for many years supported Shelterbox, a charity which prepares large resilient boxes filled with a family tent, tools, cooking equipment, water purification, and even games for children. These boxes are positioned in distribution points around the world, so that when a major disaster strikes they are nearby for immediate delivery once a team has assessed the need on the ground. The tent provides vital shelter for families made homeless, and continues to give comfort and protection while the families rebuild their lives.

The Rotary Club of Northallerton has bought many Shelterboxes over the years, at a cost of just under £600 each. The demonstration gave the opportunity to remind the local community of this worthy project and to raise some money to buy more. Whenever one of the Club’s Shelterboxes is deployed, the Club is notified of its recipient, which is a rewarding way of knowing that our contribution has brought rapid assistance to families in dire need. As Shelterbox say, “it is an incredible feeling to reach out and help people on the other side of the world, in what is quite possibly the worst moment of their lives.”

The Rotary Club can be contacted via its website, www.northallertonrotary.org.uk.

Photo: (left to right) Eileen Brereton, Tony Twiggs, Phil Roser, Andy Brereton, and generous passer-by Martin Dunn with his Guide dog puppy under training, Raffle.