Our brand ambassadors spread the word about ShelterBox in their local community.
Our community volunteers bring the story of ShelterBox to life in a wide range of settings – from local fetes to Glastonbury.
They are catalysts in their communities, inspiring and supporting others to raise the funds which transform into shelter for families made homeless through disaster or conflict.
Harry is one of our Community and Visitor Centre volunteers. We spoke to him about what he thinks about volunteering for ShelterBox
What inspires you to volunteer?
‘If I can contribute even a penny then I reckon that’s the point – own pocket aside, I’m talking being a part of getting the public to realise that their money doesn’t just add to a long list of stats but that they’re helping actual people – with names, faces and feelings like anyone.’
What do you enjoy the most volunteering for ShelterBox?
‘While I’m doing something seen as positive I don’t really feel it’s true altruism since I’m benefiting so much from meeting new people – that’s probably the thing that stands out most for me.’
What has been the most surprising thing about volunteering?
‘How skewed people’s perception of helping others is – myself included. As a UK citizen I’ve really got nothing to worry about: I don’t walk around town hoping not to get mugged or praying it rains otherwise I won’t eat – we’ve got everything at our disposal and all the financial/medical/emotional/etc. Support we could ask for if things go wrong.
We’re so quick to judge and categorise as “nothing to do with me” when we hear foreign names, lists of other countries or events like tsunamis or earthquakes which we never experience here. That’s probably one of the responsibilities of volunteering which maybe isn’t that obvious, we try to bring some funds in but that only happens when people realise the need for it.’
Describe what volunteering for ShelterBox means to you in one word.
Is there one memory that stands out for you about volunteering?
‘My first event was WOMAD festival, it’s rare to join an established group of people where every one of them is great – it was such a good few days and we (the volunteers) were really looked after. I’ve not met anyone involved with ShelterBox who I don’t get on with – that’s nice.’
Emily Trevail spent the summer at some of the UK’s most exciting festivals to help raise awareness of ShelterBox.
Emily said: ‘Having recently returned from Nepal volunteering for an American disaster relief charity, I had seen the devastation that the 2015 earthquake had caused.
‘Before I’d even returned to the UK, I started to look for ways that I could continue to help countries that had been hit by disasters similar to Nepal.’
Emily met people at the Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and WOMAD festivals, where festival-goers have been able to experience ShelterBox aid first-hand and learn more about the people we help.
‘Helping to spread the word about ShelterBox is such a rewarding experience, knowing that the charity is making a difference.’