Press releases

Press release: Countryfile presenter giving up chocolate for Tent for Lent

Countryfile presenter shares how Tent for Lent fundraiser helps shelter families who’ve had to flee their homes.

1 February 2022

Woman with blonde hair holding a chocolate bar

Press release – 1 February 2022

BBC Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison, has revealed how something as simple as giving up chocolate for Lent can help provide emergency shelter to people around the world who have been displaced from their homes.

The mother-of-three is drawing attention to the 113 million people who flee their homes every year because of conflict or disasters, by supporting ShelterBox’s Tent for Lent Appeal. The disaster relief charity provides emergency shelter to displaced families and communities around the world, as well as essential items such as lights, blankets, and water filters.

From chocolate to cake, flat whites to social media, by giving up something for Lent and raising money in aid of ShelterBox, fundraisers can help provide tents and other shelter essentials to people made homeless around the world. Every penny raised as part of the Easter fundraiser could give a family a home, and with a home comes a powerful sense of hope.

Ellie says: “When people have no choice but to flee their homes and livelihoods, the aid ShelterBox provides can be a lifeline. It helps to shelter families and can make them feel safer at a time of such dreadful uncertainty.

“When I heard about ShelterBox’s Tent for Lent fundraiser, I wanted to get involved. I love chocolate, but I’ll be giving it up this Lent and donating to show my support.

“Everyone can come together this Easter and take part in Tent for Lent to help make a difference to people who’ve lost so much. Whether it’s giving up something, making a donation, or taking on a sponsored challenge, there are many ways to get involved and help give people in need a tent this Lent.”

ShelterBox is currently working to help shelter people who have had to leave their homes in Syria, Yemen, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mozambique and the Philippines.

  • £24 could provide a family with a sleeping mat and thermal blankets
  • £60 could provide a family with a water filter giving them access to clean drinking water
  • £350 could provide a family with a tent, a space for a family to call home. A perfect target for a group challenge.

Community Fundraising Officer for ShelterBox, Hollie Clements says: “Imagine if you had to give up your home, or even worse, it gets destroyed or damaged. That’s what happens to 113 million people every year who flee conflict or disasters, and it’s getting worse because of climate change and COVID-19.

“We’re asking people to join Ellie in giving something up for Lent, donating the money they’ve saved, or to take on a sponsored challenge. No matter how people choose to take part, they’ll be making a difference to the lives of people who have lost their homes to disaster.”

Joining Ellie in supporting the campaign this year are humanitarian and author Terry Waite, and priest and Radio 2 presenter The Rev. Kate Bottley.

Five ideas how you can support Tent for Lent 2022:

  • Cycle to work every day and donate the cost of your commute.
  • Are you known for your love of a pint in the pub? See if you can give it up for Lent and encourage people to sponsor you to do so.
  • Lent doesn’t have to be about giving something up. Why not take something up? How about crochet or craft, and then sell what you make afterwards to raise money for ShelterBox?
  • Host a bring and share lunch with your church, community group, or office, and donate how much you’d usually spend on a café or shop bought lunch to the kitty for ShelterBox.
  • Challenge yourself to a sponsored camp out for Lent, knowing every night under the stars could help provide shelter for displaced families around the world.