Rotary effort delivers vital shelter to families

Steyning rotary
Steyning rotary

A TEAM effort raised enough funds to send four shelter boxes to families in the Philippines.

Steyning and Henfield Rotarians and Shoreham and Southwick Rotarians joined the Castle Inn Hotel in Bramber to hold a ShelterBox fundraiser on November 23, to help the Philippines typhoon appeal.

A shelter box contains all the essentials for a family in an emergency, including heating (with a stove) emergency shelter, a water purification system that will last for more than three years, slate and chalks for children to carry on with school work and blankets.

Speaking about the day, Steyning and Henfield Rotary president Denis Cummings, said: “The event was well attended throughout the day, and there was a steady flow of people who came for coffee and cakes, stayed to hear the story of the ShelterBoxes, and how they are dispatched and deployed throughout the world, helping people to cope with disasters world-wide.

“Rotary ShelterBoxes are now firmly established at the forefront of disaster relief and our work constantly earns the respect of outside agencies.”

Landlord of the Castle Inn Hotel, Steve Mitchell, had only a week to organise the event with his wife Mae who has family in the Philippines.

Helping the pair was Tom Nutley, past president of Steyning and Henfield Rotary, who co-ordinated the Rotary local response for the fundraising day.

Denis Cummings added: “When disaster strikes, Rotarians are often ShelterBox’s first point of contact on the ground to help assess damages and to devise a plan for immediate response.

“This particular disaster is profound in its continuing impact, with many thousands of people left homeless and separated from their loved ones.

“Time is of the essence, so here is a situation which clearly needs a rapid response if lives were to be protected. “Steve Mitchell and his wife Mae, were clearly affected deeply by this tragedy and we were happy to partner him with this event.”

A ShelterBox costs £590 and is delivered by a trained ShelterBox response team.

Steve Mitchell said: “My thanks to Steyning and Henfield Rotary who worked, as always, tirelessly throughout the day.

“Their contribution before and during the event has been immense.

“Thanks also to Robert C. Brookes and The Desperate Dan band for putting together an excellent show with musicians from past and present incarnations.

“An extra special thanks to all of the people who donated so generously, many of them our regulars but some who just felt compelled to contribute.”