Press releases

Open garden raises thousands of pounds for people without shelter in Gaza   

Sara McCorkell welcomed people to an open-garden event at her home in Dormore to raise funds for ShelterBox.

5 July 2024

People are sitting around tables in groups on a green lawn in a garden in the sunshine

Press release – 5 July

Thousands of pounds have been raised to provide emergency shelter for people in Gaza, at a vibrant five-day fundraising event. 

With the support of the Lagan Valley Rotary Club, Sara McCorkell welcomed people to an open-garden event at her home in Dormore to raise funds for the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox.  

The host, Sara, says: “I first heard of ShelterBox years ago when I attended an open garden and saw ShelterBox tents, and I’ve wanted to host an event for the charity in my garden ever since. When I heard the charity was working in Gaza, it was time to start organising and doing what we could to help.  

“We’re lucky enough to have a large mature garden which is especially beautiful in the spring. We knew if we timed it right the rhododendrons and azaleas would be in full bloom; a delight to see for people visiting!  

“The gardens were open for people to explore across five days, and we were blessed with sunny weather. As well as holding a raffle, and offering tea and cake, we also had two ShelterBox tents along with some aid items, so people had the opportunity to see the types of aid ShelterBox distributes around the world.” 

The Cornwall-based charity specialises in emergency shelter and supports people who have been uprooted from their homes after disaster or conflict. By providing shelter and other essential items like water filters, solar lights, kitchen sets and mosquito nets, ShelterBox supports people with the basics needed to survive when they have been left with very little.  

ShelterBox is working with Medical Aid for Palestinians and the Social Development Forum in Gaza. The charity is providing mattresses, water carriers and kitchen sets, along with tarpaulins, rope and sealing-off kits to help create temporary shelters.  

The charity is also working with the Agricultural Development Association (PARC) to offer tents to people in Gaza, with thousands of tents on the move from Egypt and Jordan.  

More than 150 people attended the event and donations raised £6,500, with a ShelterBox donor match-funding the event, taking the total raised to £13,000. 

Sara continues: “ShelterBox is an incredibly important charity, and we wanted to do what we could to support people in Gaza who have had their lives turned upside down. 

“We’re blown away by how generously people donated, and how many people took the time to understand and ask questions about ShelterBox. We’re even more humbled to find out a generous donor matched our total.”  

ShelterBox’s Rotary District Co-Ordinator for Ireland, Kerr Fulton-Peebles, comments: “It really was a marvelous week. There was so much to see in the lovely mature garden of the country house. Being able to engage with so many people – most of whom knew little to nothing about ShelterBox – from such a wide variety of backgrounds was energising and fulfilling. That so much was raised in the process was a real bonus.”

As well as supporting people in Gaza, ShelterBox currently has a team in Bangladesh, responding to severe flooding which occurred following a powerful cyclone, as well as responses in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Yemen and many other countries.

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

Notes to Editors    

  • Images and captions included.
  • Interviews available with ShelterBox’s Kerr Fulton-Peebles.