Wednesday, 12 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Cycling siblings make a difference: Muddy miles in aid of ShelterBox

TWO young fundraisers from East Lothian have taken on a 27-mile cycling challenge in their school break to raise money for the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox. 

Siblings, Murdo and Morven, were inspired to help the charity, which supports people around the world with emergency shelter, after attending a fundraising event with the Rotary Club of Tranent.  

Murdo, who is seven years old, said:

“When I saw the ShelterBox tent, I was really interested to know what it was for. When I learnt about the charity I thought, nice people help other people and people could die if no one helps, so I’m going to help.” 

ShelterBox specialises in providing support for people who have lost their homes due to conflict or disaster. As well as emergency shelters, the charity also supports people with essential items such as solar lights, blankets, cooking equipment, and winter clothing.

The pair set themselves the ambitious goal to raise £590, enough to fund emergency shelter items such as tarpaulins and tools, as well as essential items like pans, cooking utensils, blankets, and a water filter.  

After volunteering to collect donations for ShelterBox at two Rotary events, the young duo was keen to do more to reach their target. 

Murdo set up a fundraiser to make up the difference with a cycling challenge covering more than 27 miles. His hope, with the help of his sister, was to raise around £275 to get them to their target of £590. 

After two weeks of cycling two miles at 6.30am every morning, along trails, and climbing hills in all weather, they smashed their goal, raising £620. 

John Stanbury, Supporter Care Assistant at ShelterBox, said:

“We’re so impressed by the dedication and determination of these young supporters. Murdo and Morven put so much time and effort into raising funds and awareness, putting their young bodies to the test in a tough cycling challenge along muddy trails and steep hills.” 

The Cornwall-based charity was founded in 2000 and relies heavily on public donations to fund its work, providing emergency shelter to people displaced by disaster, conflict, or the climate crisis. It’s supported 2.5 million people across around 100 countries. 

John continued:

“We couldn’t continue the work we do around the world without the generous donations and incredible fundraising efforts of our supporters like Murdo and Morven. 

“We’re really inspired by their efforts and hope their story will inspire others to get involved and help raise money to fund our projects supporting people all around the world who have been left without shelter or the basics needed to survive.”

Murdo’s efforts have been recognised by the Rotary Club of Tranent who presented him with a Star Fundraiser Award in a surprise ceremony at his school. 

Cycling siblings make a difference: Muddy miles in aid of ShelterBox

Scott McNeill, father of the young fundraisers, said:

“I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Tranent for three years and our partnership with ShelterBox is extremely valued and important. It is a topic that has struck a chord with myself and my kids. I was very proud when Murdo and Morven took it upon themselves to give up their own time to get involved and how determined they both are to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.  

“Neither of them are really interested in the spotlight, but if sharing this story encourages one other person to put £1 in a charity box, the job is done.” 

ShelterBox is currently supporting people who have had to flee their homes due to conflict and extreme weather in Chad and Yemen. The charity is also working in Somalia and Ethiopia where people have been affected by the worst drought to hit East Africa in 40 years. 

For more information, or to hear stories from other ShelterBox fundraisers, people can visit: www.shelterbox.org. 

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