Press releases

Lent with intent: ShelterBox launches annual Tent for Lent campaign

Give something up, take on a challenge, or host a fundraising event during Lent to raise funds and awareness for ShelterBox.

19 January 2024

ShelterBox supporter John Cleverly and his dog Lula giving up their beds to camp on Dartmoor for Tent 4 Lent 2023.

Press release – 18 January

It may be a challenge to forgo something loved during Lent, but the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox is encouraging people to have a go to help fund emergency shelter for people with nowhere to live after disaster.  

For its annual Tent for Lent campaign, the charity is asking supporters to pledge to give something up, take on a challenge, or host a fundraising event during Lent to raise funds and awareness of the work it does around the world.  

The charity supports people who have been uprooted from their homes by disaster or conflict, providing vital emergency shelter and essential items like solar lights, water filters, blankets, and winter clothing. Items that make a tangible difference to people left with very few belongings.  

Community Fundraising Officer at ShelterBox, Louisa Arnold says: “Tent for Lent is one of my favourite fundraisers in our calendar because we’re so often surprised by the wonderful ideas our supporters come up with, even when economic times are tricky.  

“Our fundraisers take on the challenge in so many different ways from giving up takeout coffees, their Friday night takeaway, or in some cases even their beds to save or raise money for ShelterBox.”  

Grandmother of nine, Valerie Allen, gave up her bed last year, sleeping in a tent in her garden for 40 nights at the age of 78. Despite facing harsh weather, and not having camped for over a decade, Valerie was determined to make a difference – raising over £2,000 to help people she’ll never meet.  

Valerie says: “I made the decision to sleep in a tent for 40 nights when the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria happened and could not begin to imagine how it might feel to lose your home and even loved ones in a matter of minutes. Tent for Lent was a challenge I felt I had to do.”  

Fundraiser John Cleverly was just as committed to the cause, braving the elements and tackling snow, hail and gale force winds, with a weekly camp-out on Dartmoor with his dog, Lula. 

The money raised by fundraisers like John and Valerie helps fund ShelterBox responses around the world. The charity is currently supporting people who have been displaced from their homes due to extreme drought in Somalia and Ethiopia, as well as conflict in countries like Yemen. It’s also supporting people facing harsh winter temperatures without shelter in places like Syria and Ukraine.  

Louisa continues: “We couldn’t continue to do the important work we do around the world without our fundraisers or supporters. We’re always amazed at, and incredibly grateful for, the dedication and determination of our supporters who give up their time, energy and even home comforts in support of ShelterBox. 

“However people chose to fundraise, every penny saved or raised and donated will make a difference. 

£35 could provide a family with a shelter tool kit which contains tools to maintain their shelter £60 could provide a family with a water filter giving them access to clean drinking water 

£425 could provide a family with a tent, a space for a family to call home. A perfect target for a group challenge.   

Anyone keen to find out more or get involved in Tent for Lent can visit ShelterBox’s website. To share your Tent for Lent challenge with ShelterBox, please email [email protected]. 


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


Notes to Editors   

  • Interviews available with Louisa Arnold at ShelterBox. 
  • Images and captions included.