Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

ShelterBox appoints first Chief Operating Officer

THE international disaster relief charity ShelterBox has appointed its first chief operating officer. Natasha Eden is joining the Cornwall-based charity as it scales up its mission to provide emergency shelter to people uprooted from their homes by disaster or conflict. 

More people than ever are in urgent need of emergency shelter, and ShelterBox is growing to ensure it can support as many people as possible. Natasha will be responsible for steering the day-to-day operations of the charity, streamlining processes, and making sure everyone is working towards ShelterBox’s goal of leaving no one without shelter after disaster. 

Her appointment comes at a pivotal moment in the charity’s five-year strategy that challenges the charity to do more, do it better, and do it together. It recognises that working in partnerships is integral to working at scale, commits to learning and adapting the emergency shelter aid it offers and works more closely with the people it supports while addressing power imbalances that make it harder to recover from disasters around the world. 

Natasha joins ShelterBox from Sanctuary where she has been overseeing a multi-million-pound social housing decarbonisation fund, and a strategic partnership with Cornwall Council that will see £100m development investment in the county over the next 10 years.  

Natasha said:

“I have been following ShelterBox for a number of years and have always been impressed by its delivery of emergency shelter and how it innovates to ensure this is done with local partnerships and by listening to the voices of affected communities.  

“I’m thrilled to be working in a charity with such a clear vision, no one without shelter after disaster, and as the new chief operating officer I am committed to working with our global team and partners to ensure we strengthen our impact through the achievement of our strategic objectives and that we do this effectively and efficiently.” 

The charity is currently supporting displaced people across the world, including in Malawi where thousands of people have been displaced by severe flooding in a cycle of disaster that is devastating the country. 

It’s also responding in Gaza to support some of the 1.7 million people who have been displaced by the conflict. ShelterBox has an urgent appeal for the response in which it will be working with local partners and Rotary to support thousands of people with tents and essential items like sleeping mats, blankets, and water carriers.  

Chief Executive of ShelterBox, Sanj Srikanthan said:

“Tasha brings extensive experience to the role from the private and public sector as well as being based in Cornwall.   

“She will be focussed on that all-important question about ‘what makes the boat go faster’ at ShelterBox. This will include leading a review of our strategy progress this year, as well as working with teams on priority areas that will make us more effective as an organisation.” 

Since it was founded in 2000, ShelterBox has supported more than 2.5 million people across around 100 countries with different combinations of emergency shelter, support, and essential household items. 

The charity has operational headquarters in Truro and an operational team permanently based in the Philippines because of the frequency with which it responds there. It currently has teams working to support displaced communities affected by conflict in Yemen, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Syria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Chad, as well as drought-affected people in Somalia. 

To find out more about where ShelterBox is working, and how to fundraise or join its book club, people can visit: shelterbox.org. 

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