Press releases

Triple the impact: A marathon trilogy for ShelterBox

Derek Sinclair embarks on epic running challenge to raise funds for ShelterBox. 

9 February 2024

Thurso resident Derek Sinclair in his ShelterBox running jersey.

Press release – 9 February

A man from Thurso is embarking on an epic running challenge to raise funds for the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox.  

The 51-year-old store manager, Derek Sinclair, is lacing up his trainers for three events across the UK to raise £1,000 to help support people around the world who have been left without shelter after disaster.  

The ‘Trilogy of Hope’, as it’s been named, will begin in Scotland with the Inverness Half Marathon in March, followed by the iconic London Marathon in April, and finishing with the Edinburgh Marathon in May. 

Derek says: “I’d already signed up for the other two races when I heard I’d got a place on the London marathon – I’ve been entering the ballot since 2012! So, I thought, what a great challenge and decided I’d do all three for a purpose.  

“Despite being a fair-weather runner for years I’d recently taken some time out, but I’m back to training and enjoying the process, despite the very snowy and wet conditions throwing my schedule a little.  

“I generally go out training first thing in the morning; a challenge within itself to get out of my warm comfy bed to face the cold temperatures. The middle two weeks in January were certainly a challenge, battling hail stones driven by 45mph gusts of wind along snowy and icy roads and pavements. But it’s surprising how quickly you stop thinking about the cold and get into the ‘zone’.  

“My wife will be supporting me at each event, along with my two grown up sons. It’ll be great to see their faces around the course for a boost to keep me going, and of course at the finish line,” 

The challenge marks Derek’s final six months as president of Thurso Rotary Club, of which he has been a member since January 2018. 

Derek continues: “I’ll be stepping down as Thurso Rotary President this summer, and I suppose I wanted to go out with a bang and raise money for a cause which is close to my heart.  

“ShelterBox is one of the main charities we support across Rotary International. It stands out for its immediate and practical response to disasters, providing families with emergency shelter and tools, giving them the means to rebuild and recover.”  

The Cornwall based charity, founded in 2000, has supported over 2.5 million people across around 100 countries with different combinations of emergency shelter, support, and essential household items. The charity relies entirely on public donations to fund its work and currently has 12 active responses across the world, including Gaza, Ukraine, Yemen, and Burkina Faso. 

Rotary Engagement Officer at ShelterBox, Fiona Turner says: “To run one marathon is impressive enough but the three long runs Derek is taking on is a sign of grit and determination.  

“Rotary International has been with ShelterBox from the start and we’ve been official project partners since 2012. It’s an incredibly valuable partnership which allows us to collaborate and combine resources, ultimately helping us reach more people and support more communities in desperate need of shelter after disaster. 

“We are extremely grateful to all our supporters who give up their own time to fundraise and, take on challenges to help support people they’ll likely never meet.”  

ShelterBox has launched an urgent fundraising appeal as it confirms responding in Gaza. Working alongside Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), the charity is set to support thousands of people with emergency shelter aid to help people survive wet and cold weather, and items like blankets, mattresses, and kitchen sets. 

ShelterBox continues to work in Pakistan, supporting thousands of people who have been affected by severe monsoon flooding which hit the country in 2022; a disaster which has affected over 33 million people. The charity is also working in Somalia and Ethiopia where severe drought has caused the displacement of millions of people.  

People wishing to find out more, or to donate to Derek’s fundraising challenge can visit: Derek Sinclair is fundraising for ShelterBox (  

To find out more about fundraising for ShelterBox and how to get involved, visit: 



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

Notes to Editors     

  • Interviews available with Fiona Turner at ShelterBox.  
  • Images and captions included.