Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Penzance man giving up his bed in support of ShelterBox’s Tent for Lent appeal

A man from Penzance is preparing to give up his bed during Lent to raise awareness and funds for the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox. 

The charity’s Tent for Lent appeal encourages people to give up something during Lent, donating what they raise or save to help fund the charity’s work supporting displaced people across the world.  

Zac Harvey, 28, will be bracing the Cornish winter weather and sleeping in a tent for five nights at scenic spots around West Cornwall. 

Zac, who studied international relations and politics at university, said:

“ShelterBox is a charity that’s local to me and their efforts for international disaster relief are something that’s always given me a sense of local pride.  

“I think that with the current trajectory of climate change, and with countries not making much progress towards global targets, it remains as important as ever to highlight the work ShelterBox do. 

“Tent for lent is a great way to highlight what’s under threat if we fail to meet these benchmarks, as it would only cause more displacement and struggle.” 

ShelterBox currently has an emergency response team in Gaziantep getting crucial aid – like tents, thermal blankets, mattresses, and winter coats – to people affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. 

Zac – shop manager at RideOn E-Bikes, said:

“I am quite an outdoorsy person and I love a challenge, so I think my friends and family are excited for me. 

“I am mostly concerned about the weather. It can be pretty wet, windy, and wild at this time of year in Cornwall, but I’m hoping I can get a good enough variety of camping spots to provide shelter in any conditions.  

“Although the reality for me during this challenge is not the reality for displaced people, I feel it’s important to use charity events like this to help raise the profile of practical organisations who will help take on the responsibility for what could happen.” 

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter to displaced families and communities around the world, as well as essential items such as solar lights, blankets, mosquito nets, and water filters. It’s currently helping people displaced by monsoon flooding in Pakistan, drought in East Africa, a tropical storm in the Philippines, and conflict in places like Ukraine, Yemen, and Burkina Faso. It’s also supporting people who have had to leave their homes in Syria, Cameroon, and Mozambique. 

Community Fundraising Officer for ShelterBox, Louisa Arnold said:

“Camping out may sound like fun, but during February and March, we know conditions could be challenging.  

“We’re thrilled that Zac has pledged his time and support for our Tent for Lent appeal, raising crucial funds that will help us support displaced people around the world. 

“Every year more than 100 million people have to leave behind their homes because of conflict or disaster and we want to do everything we can to make sure people have shelter in their time of need. People like Zac are helping us do that.”  

Dozens of pledges have already been made for the appeal, with individuals and community groups planning to give up takeaways, coffees and social media.  

  • £30 could provide a family with a sleeping mat and thermal blankets 
  • £60 could provide a family with a water filter giving them access to clean drinking water 
  • £350 could provide a family with a tent, a space for a family to call home. A perfect target for a group challenge.   

For more ideas on how to support Tent for Lent this year, people can visit shelterbox.org. To find out more about Zac’s challenge, visit his fundraising page. 

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