Press releases

Cornish Rotary club raises £5,000 for people left without shelter after disaster  

The Rotary Club of St Austell has raised £5,000 for the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox. 

21 June 2024

Three people holding a large cheque for ShelterBox

Press release – 20 June

The Rotary Club of St Austell has raised £5,000 for the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox. 

Through themed fundraising dinners, a night of music, and a rainy sponsored family walk, the members of the club and the wider community came together to raise crucial funds for people who have been left without shelter after disaster or conflict. 

The Rotary Club of St Austell which is one of the oldest in the area, dating back to 1922, prides itself as being a place for fellowship, friendship and a good sense of fun whilst aiming to serve the local and global community. It has supported ShelterBox for many years, and is currently chaired by president, Elke Deeley. 

Elke says: “As a club we have been raising money for ShelterBox for many years. We plan a variety of fundraising events for the charity throughout the year and make sure there’s something for everyone to get involved in.  

“In our latest fundraiser – Walk the Extra Mile – we took inspiration from the charity’s own statement of going the extra mile for disaster relief and decided we should do the same, quite literally… in our walking boots! 

“We organised a sponsored walk with different routes of varying difficulty to make it as accessible as possible for people wanting to join in. The event was open to members of the club and the wider community and despite the dismal weather people still turned up to walk their extra mile – some even opted to do so in their own back garden.

“Incredibly, nobody seemed to mind getting soaked through. The support was amazing. Smiley faces all round, happy to be raising funds for an important cause.” 

The Cornwall based charity, which specialises in emergency shelter, supports people who have been displaced by conflict or disaster. By providing shelter and other essential items like solar lights, water filters and blankets, ShelterBox supports people to recover and rebuild when they have been uprooted from their homes and left with very little. 

A good number of families braved the rain in the sponsored walk, which set off from Pentewen Sands Holiday Park. The trail took people along the Pentewan Valley Trail, up to Heligan.  

Walkers were treated to sea shanties by local band ‘Press Gang’, and heard from Rotary Club member and ShelterBox ambassador, David Earl. He shared more about ShelterBox’s projects around the world and his own personal fundraising for the charity – a skydive to mark his 80th birthday. 

ShelterBox was founded by a Rotary club in Helston in 2000 and has since supported almost 3 million people across around 100 countries. The charity has been Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief since 2012 and the two organisations work together to reach more people affected by disaster. 

Elke continues: “Rotary’s partnership with ShelterBox is incredibly valued by the Rotary community and we do all we can to raise funds and awareness for the important work it does.  

“As well as our walk, we held a magnificent concert at St Fimbarrus Church in Fowey in March organised by Merlene Bowden, with fabulous performances by Restormel Concert Soul and Swing Band and the Imerys Mid-Cornwall Male Choir. Another special treat was listening to Rtn Marlene Bowden play the piano, and Patrick Saunders on the clarinet – just exquisite!  

“We also held two themed dinner evenings organised by Ross Jerome, with food from around the world. The proceeds of which we have donated to ShelterBox to help fund its project support people left without shelter after disaster.” 

Community fundraising assistant at ShelterBox, John Stanbury, says: “We’re always humbled to hear about the incredible fundraising efforts our supporters go to, and what a fundraising extravaganza the St Austell Rotary Club has put on. The fact that the events are open to everyone brings people together, uniting the local community to support people affected by disasters around the world.   

“The partnership we have with Rotary is incredibly valuable to us. By sharing resources and collaborating in our responses around the world, it enables us to ultimately reach more people affected by disaster and work towards of vision of no one left without shelter after disaster.” 

ShelterBox has aid in Gaza, where it is supporting thousands of people affected by the conflict. By working with local partners and Rotary, the charity is providing emergency shelter and essential items like blankets, mattresses, and floor mats. 

The charity is also supporting people in Bangladesh who have had their homes destroyed by severe tidal surges following a powerful cyclone. A ShelterBox response team on the ground is working with local partner, Uttaran, and the local community to provide emergency shelter to the worst affected areas.  

People wanting to find out more about ShelterBox and the work it does around the world can visit,  



For more information contact the press office at ShelterBox via [email protected].     

Notes to Editors     

  • Images and captions included.
  • Interviews available with Elke Deeley and ShelterBox’s community fundraising assistant, John Stanbury