Press releases

Press release: Charity Book Club’s one-million-pound milestone

ShelterBox Book Club members helping people across the world with emergency shelter

16 December 2022

Woman look at back of book in front of a book shelf

A charity book club, which helps fund emergency shelter for people displaced by conflict and disaster all over the world, is thanking its supporters after reaching one million pounds.

With members spanning the UK, the ShelterBox Book Club has been taking its subscribers on a journey every month since November 2018 – inviting them to discover the countries where it works. At the same time, providing hope to disaster affected families by funding critical emergency shelter aid.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that specialises in emergency shelter. The charity has helped more than two million people since 2000 and is currently providing aid to people affected by the war in Ukraine, the monsoon flooding in Pakistan, and the worst drought to hit East Africa in the last 40 years.

Catherine Thornhill, Head Bookworm at ShelterBox, says: “What amazes me about our wonderful community of book club members is that with every book they read they are helping to fund emergency shelter for real families around the world who have nowhere to call home.

“ShelterBox responds when extreme weather events damage and destroy the homes of people living on the frontline of climate change, to seismic disasters, and conflicts around the world.

“ShelterBox Book Club members have donated one million pounds to help us reach people in need who they will never meet – it’s just incredible, especially when we see the difference it makes to the people we support.”

The book club helps people in desperate need, whilst immersing readers in cultures from countries where ShelterBox works. Books read by the club include the Malawian story ‘The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind’ by William Kamkwamba, ‘Mr Loverman’ by Booker Prize winning Bernardine Evaristo which is partially set in Antigua, and ‘The Mountains Sing’ by Vietnamese author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai.

As well as supporting people in Ukraine, ShelterBox is helping people displaced by conflict in Yemen, Syria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Support is provided in many ways and includes different combinations of emergency shelter items and training that are locally appropriate to make the biggest difference for communities after disaster.

ShelterBox Book Club member, Stuart Taylor says: “I think everything about ShelterBox represents positivity, kindness and care.

“My donations are going to such worthy causes, I get full updates, and each month I am being educated and entertained by a new book from a culture or identity I wouldn’t otherwise have known as much about.”

Catherine added: “Our book club helps people across the globe, but it also gives readers the chance to see the world through another’s eyes and that’s pretty special.

“Many of our members have been gifted a subscription and what’s nice about that is that it’s a gift that keeps giving back to good causes because all profits go towards providing disaster relief.”

Every six weeks, members get the chance to vote for the next compelling read from a shortlist of three specially selected titles. These won’t be any old page-turner though; they’ll be hand-picked by ShelterBox’s Head Bookworm to reflect the incredible people and places the charity works. A copy of the most popular book will arrive in the post for members to enjoy with a letter telling them about a family they’ve supported through their membership.

Members can attend online events discussing books with other members and get involved in exclusive live Q&As with some of the authors.

To find out more about ShelterBox Book Club, visit Memberships can also be gifted in subscriptions of three-, six-, or 12-month packages.


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

Notes to Editors

  • Interviews available with Head Bookworm at ShelterBox, Catherine Thornhill
  • Possible opportunities, on request, to interview a local book club member
  • Photographs and captions included

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters. With operational headquarters in Cornwall, the charity also has 13 affiliate organisations worldwide.

The charity has been Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief since 2012. ShelterBox has supported more than 2 million people since it was founded in 2000.

ShelterBox Book Club

The book club was launched in 2018, inspired by the communities ShelterBox supports after disaster, and is focused on international stories from diverse authors. For a monthly donation of £10 - every 6 weeks members vote on what to read next from a handpicked selection. Subscribers receive a book in the post and join discussions virtually, on Zoom and in a thriving Facebook forum – where authors frequently host Q&A events.