Ben is currently working as a ShelterBox response volunteer in Malaysia following the intense monsoon flooding. ShelterBox was founded in Helston in 2000 and sent the first consignment of 143 boxes to earthquake victims in the Indian state of Gujarat in January 2001. They now respond to earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, typhoons, hurricanes, volcanoes and conflicts around the world. Ben got involved with Shelterbox in 2012 and this is his second trip with the charity after working as a response volunteer in the Philippines in 2014.
What do ShelterBox do?
Essentially ShelterBox delivers vital supplies and support to communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis. As the name suggests this support literally comes in a box. A ShelterBox typically includes a disaster relief tent for family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.
What do ShelterBox volunteers do?
Some volunteers perform the essential task of packing every single ShelterBox that leaves the UK warehouse whilst others assist in other departments including Operations, Training, Fundraising and Communications, Reception and Supporter Care.
The ShelterBox response team volunteers help to physically deliver the aid and provide support to communities. To become a response team member is no easy feat and each individual has to undertake rigorous and intensive training before they are qualified to deliver emergency aid.
How did Ben get involved?
A ShelterBox representative came, complete with box, to visit the St. Martin’s school children to tell them about the charity’s work. Ben was asked to give them and their box a lift from the quay to school; he got talking and ended up applying to join the response team.
What is he currently doing in Malaysia?
Intense monsoon flooding has left thousands of people in Malaysia without habitable homes. Ben and the other volunteers are on the ground assessing the need for shelter boxes and making sure that any help that ShelterBox can provide goes where it is most needed.
How can you help?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, fundraising or making a donation to ShelterBox then pop across to their website.