Press releases

Press release: Give a Tent for Lent

As thoughts turn to giving up chocolate or quitting caffeine, disaster relief charity ShelterBox has a positive way to mark Lent this year.

13 February 2020

Church with a tent in the grounds

Press release – 13 February 2020

As thoughts turn to giving up chocolate or quitting caffeine, disaster relief charity ShelterBox has a positive way to mark Lent this year. Church congregations and other community groups are getting together to raise funds to Give a Tent for Lent.

113 million people are made homeless every year by disaster or conflict. Now ShelterBox is challenging congregations, schools and community groups to team up this Lent and raise £350, the average cost of a tent. Every penny raised will help provide the space for a family to call home.

ShelterBox believes that no family should be left without shelter after disaster. Their range of aid includes tents tailored to different situations and climates. When families can’t start rebuilding their homes immediately, durable tents can help them feel safe and protected. (See Asala’s story below.)

Priest, Radio 2 presenter and former Gogglebox star The Rev. Kate Bottley is backing the campaign, saying:

‘When life is thrown into chaos, home is a sanctuary. Shelter is vitally important for people who have lost everything, so that they can start planning for the future. Give a Tent for Lent is what we’re all about – it really is a lifesaver for people that need it.’

Marte Martin, ShelterBox Community Fundraising Officer, says: ‘However your church or community group takes part, you’ll be making a real difference. Lent lunches, collections, coffee mornings or donating the money you’ve saved from giving up a treat – your generosity will help provide shelter around the world.’

ShelterBox is supporting families who’ve repeatedly fled violence in northern Syria, and recently finished responses in Philippines after Typhoon Kammuri destroyed homes across the country and earthquakes rocked the island of Mindanao.

Find out more and sign up at

Notes to editors

  • YouTube video of Kate Bottley backing the campaign:
  • Case study of a Cornish church who took part last year is available.
  • While ShelterBox isn’t a religious organisation, faith groups have always played a vital and valued role in raising support and awareness of our work in the community.

‘Although it’s a small tent it’s like a palace for me’ – Asala’s story

Asala lives with her mother and two siblings in a refugee camp in Syria. When the fighting reached their village, they were forced to move away, settling in another village before having to move on yet again to the camp. Before they received a ShelterBox tent, Asala and her family were staying in a collective centre at the camp with many families under one roof. They shared one blanket between the four of them.

After 3 months they received a tent, blankets, mattresses, water carriers, and solar lights.

Asala told us:

‘Before we got a private tent for us as a family, the life was unbearable, none of us were able to sleep comfortably or deeply during the night… Now with our own tent and household items, the situation is better. At least we can feel comfortable and warm at night.

‘Although it’s a small tent, it’s like a palace for me. What really concerns me now is getting back to school, so I can continue my study.’

Contact the ShelterBox Media Team