Fundraiser stories

Read some of the amazing things our fundraisers have done in support of ShelterBox

Ken's burpee challenge

For most people, one burpee is enough. But Ken Wilson, a vet from the Highlands of Scotland, thought he would take things to the next level and do 3,000 burpees in just 30 days.

He is just coming towards the end of his year as President of Thurso Rotary Club and wanted to take on a fundraising challenge for ShelterBox, to mark his year in office.

With help from his son Callum, Ken managed to complete the challenge and raise over £1,200 for ShelterBox!

Ken said: “ShelterBox is an inspiring charity. I have been amazed by the work they do, as I have learnt about them during my time as a Rotarian.”

Watch the video to get a taste of Ken’s amazing journey!

Bingbong books

Fundraiser Bingham writing his blog Bingbong Books

Meet Bingham. He is 11-years-old and loves to read – but his collection is getting out of hand. 

When he ran out of space to store all of his favourite books, Bingham decided to create a blog called ‘Bingbong Books’. Bingham reviews his books and sells them on to other bookworms – and all the proceeds go to ShelterBox!

‘We’re not too late to save our world. If we all do our part, we can do it – even I am doing something green! I have sold more than 7 books, that is around 1 to 1.5 thousand A4 sheets of recycled paper.’

Thank you Bingham, you’re an inspiration to us all!

Emily's amazing journey

From Land’s End to Lowestoft, 10-year-old Emily completed an epic cycling challenge, raising over £6,500 for ShelterBox.

Exhausted, however proud and strong, 10-year-old Emily Read finally arrived at misty Ness Point in Lowestoft. She had undertaken an impressive fortnight-long journey with her bicycle along Britain’s widest point.

Emily decided to take on this fundraising challenge after seeing our stand at the Devon County Show. Through wind and rain, along muddy towpaths, and up steep gradients, Emily kept on cycling. What’s even more remarkable is that she is probably the youngest person ever to undertake a 488-mile challenge!

Her determination and strength resulted in raising a whopping amount of over £6,500 for ShelterBox. Thanks to Emily, we were able to use this money to help more families around the world who are in need of shelter.

Fundraiser Emily Reed cyling from Land's End to Lowestoft
Emily Reed, 10 with her bike after completing a 488 mile bike ride.

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Writing to the world

How far can a penpal project go? In the case of 5-year-old Toby Little, there are no limits.

Toby Little, a primary school pupil from Sheffield, undertook a global penpal project, aiming to write hand-written letters to every single country in the world.

What followed was truly unexpected. He received replies from refugees, schoolchildren, aid workers, ambassadors – even the President of Kiribati wrote him back.

Soon after, Toby’s ‘Writing to the World’ idea took off worldwide. Three years later, his letters became a book published by Penguin and titled ‘Dear World, How Are You?’.

Toby has done it all in support of ShelterBox, and he got to tell us all about it during his first visit to our headquarters in summer 2017.

Fundraiser Toby Little author of Dear World How Are You

Rally 4 ShelterBox

Rally4ShelterBox team on the beach

The rally, run by the Falmouth and Exeter University Students Union, originally began back in 2010. 

The event is a non-stop, human-powered 280-mile relay circuit, split in to 38 gruelling legs.

Participants complete the endurance circuit by running, jogging, walking, rowing, kayaking, cycling or swimming the Cornish Coastline.

Over the years Rally4ShelterBox has been run by hundreds of amazing people and has raised over £15,000 for families caught up in disaster or conflict, everywhere in the world.

See the photos

Flowers for charity

In loving memory of her daughter, who lost her life in the tragic 2004 tsunami, Wendy has been selling her flowers for charity.

Wendy is opening her doors every year to sell beautiful primrose-like flowers that she has grown herself. Hellebore Day occurs every February and draws horticulturalists from all over the country.

It’s the ultimate Cornish event – beautiful flowers that love the county’s gentle climate, and scrumptious cream teas and Cornish pasties. And, of course, it’s not a proper fundraising event unless there is ShelterBox tent on the front lawn!

Wendy says, ‘Hellebore Day has taken on a life of its own. […] I know my daughter would have wholeheartedly supported it as I do…I look forward with great pride to welcoming all our loyal supporters again this year.’

Thanks to her unique fundraising event, Wendy has raised over £20,000 for ShelterBox.

Fundraiser Wendy Perry with Hellebore Flowers

Scouts scavenger hunt

Scouts group takes part in the ShelterBox Scavenger Hunt

The first ShelterBox Scavenger Hunt took place in London in 2009 with 25 teams.

Since then the event has taken place in a number of locations, most notably Liverpool, and seen thousands of teams and young people take part.

The objectives of the Scavenger Hunt are to challenge young people to learn more about disasters and disaster relief work, explore their local cities famous landmarks, and increase awareness about the work of ShelterBox.

With support from their local council, emergency services, Scout Association and many volunteers the event has raised over £18,000 and hopes to raise much more over the coming years.

Find out more

A transcontinental bike ride

Tim Bridgman and his wife Sharon always had a shared dream: to cycle the world crossing four great land masses.

They even gave their dream a name – the North2North epic. The North2North epic was a 37,000-mile cycle through 32 countries, with each mile cycled in support of ShelterBox.

A sad and sudden surprise, however, changed their plans. In 2014, Sharon was killed in a car accident. Despite everything, two years later Tim bravely completed the remaining 15,000 miles and crossed the finishing line in Alaska.

Tim says, ‘What compelled us around ShelterBox was that it didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, the organisation helps people who have lost everything in an instant.

With ShelterBox, you see so many people around the world who have lost everything in a crisis, benefitting from the work of the organisation.’

Fundraiser Tim Bridgman and his wife Sharon Bridgeman

From Devon to Africa

Mitsubishi Shogun with ShelterBox strapped to roof

Would you spend £300 buying an old banger and then driving it all the way to Africa? Two ShelterBox supporters did exactly that.

‘Desperate measures’ fundraisers Kevin Furnish and Mike Parry drove 6,794 miles from Plymouth to Benin in an epic overland African trek.

It’s been a bumpy ride for the sturdy green ShelterBox strapped to the roof of a 1992 Mitsubishi Shogun – especially when it crunched into a garage roof in Morocco!

But it was, admittedly, the journey of a lifetime for Kevin and Mike. During their near 7,000 mile trek, the duo were detained by police, had their passports confiscated, and had to deal with two serious car breakdowns. In addition, Kevin and Mike slept in the open under a tarpaulin for six weeks.

When asked about the source of their determination and motivation, they summed it up as ‘Wishing to do something different whilst helping where we could. And simply, adventure and charity.’

A story of perseverance

Colin Bell is an ultramarathon runner, Rotary member and volunteer for ShelterBox.

He’s been fundraising for ShelterBox since 2014, when he first ran a marathon carrying a ShelterBox to fund desperately needed shelter around the world.

In 2015 he took on the challenge of running 2015 km – the equivalent of an amazing 48 marathons. In 2018 he completed JOGLE, the challenge of walking from John O’ Groats all the way to Land’s End – all with a ShelterBox strapped to his back.

Colin’s energy, dedication and determination are an example to us all, especially dealing with the setback of an injury.

Thanks to Colin’s incredible efforts he has raised over £25,000 for ShelterBox, helping us reach families all around the world.

Thank you, Colin!

Rotarian Colin Bell with ShelterBox on his back

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