Press releases

Press release: Make darker evenings shine with a meal that makes a difference

As the clocks go back, ShelterBox invites family and friends to get together and hold a fundraising dinner for people affected by disaster

22 October 2019

People clinking glasses above a dinner table

Press release – 22 October 2019

As the clocks go back this weekend, disaster relief charity ShelterBox invites family and friends to get together and hold a fundraising dinner for people affected by disaster

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict. The charity’s annual fundraiser, Shine for ShelterBox, helps you chase away the winter blues as the nights draw in, all while supporting a great cause.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a supper-club lover or tempted to takeaway, Shine is all about getting together with friends and family to share a meal that makes a difference.

Celebrity chefs including The Hairy Bikers, hot sauce sensation Levi Roots and Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers are supporting the campaign and have shared recipes for their favourite winter warmers to give you some inspiration.

Shine dinners happening around the world this winter will provide solar lights, emergency shelter and other essential items to people who have lost so much.

When a family is forced to flee their home, the familiar elements of daily life are lost in the chaos. Solar lights can give some sense of normality, getting back to routines like cooking and eating dinner together, doing schoolwork or keeping a business running.

As Maria from the Philippines told ShelterBox: ‘My children are able to use the solar lights a lot: it helps them wake up and get ready for school in the morning and for my youngest she is now more comfortable with a light on at night when she sleeps.’

Cornwall-based ShelterBox is currently supporting families in Syria fleeing the latest military action, as well as those displaced by floods in Bangladesh and long-term conflict in western Africa’s Lake Chad Basin.

Robyn Cummins, ShelterBox Director of Fundraising and Communications, says:

‘Imagine a disaster has taken away your home. At night it’s so dark you can’t even see your own hands, let alone cook for your family or find your way to the nearest toilet.

‘For thousands of families around the world, this is a reality. By getting together for a Shine for ShelterBox dinner, you’ll be supporting these families with essential aid items like solar lights.’

Sign up and download your free fundraising pack, with recipe ideas and more, at

Notes to editors

  • Recipes from Levi Roots and author & Guardian columnist Anna Jones can be used by media. Please include any credits as they appear on the web page.
  • How your Shine dinner will help:
    • £11 could provide a solar light
    • £28 could provide a kitchen set, with pots pans, bowls and utensils
    • £60 could provide a water filter

Case study – Yolanda, Peru

In Peru, thousands of homes were destroyed by the huayco – a flood of mud, debris and soil the swept through communities, leaving devastation in its wake.

Many families lost everything – not just their homes and livelihoods, but their personal items. Photos, clothes, bedding and even kitchen utensils were lost.

Without ingredients, or even the means to cook, families would have gone hungry. Many areas started up community kitchens, where people like Yolanda (pictured right) would take turns cooking for the neighbourhood. She says:

‘The community kitchens have really helped us and have helped everyone as no one has any money or any food.

‘Today we are cooking lunch for 100 people in the local community. We are making rice, beans and beef steak with onions and peppers. We take it in turns to cook, so each day a different family cooks for the rest of the community. Today it is our turn, we are very proud of our sauce and our seasoning.

‘Every aid item we received was good and we have used everything. I liked the lights best, you just put them in the sun and they charge, and I really like the type of illumination that you get from them.’

Contact the ShelterBox Media Team