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The human link

Our ShelterBox Response Teams provide the link between the people who donate to ShelterBox and those that receive ShelterBox support.

They work tirelessly - climbing mountains, crossing rivers and navigating their way through customs procedures - to reach families who have lost their homes.

Our teams work closely with community leaders and local organisations to make sure that people have exactly the right tools and skills to start the process of recovery.

Being a ShelterBox Response Volunteer is a huge commitment. Each person goes through a rigorous application and training process to test their ability to communicate, plan and work through challenges.

Most importantly, our volunteers need to be able to go the extra mile, whatever the circumstances.

Read Ashton's story

Ashton Josephs, Response Team Volunteer

Ashton Josephs is a marketing professional from Buckinghamshire. Last year, she took on her first deployment for ShelterBox - responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

'I began volunteering for ShelterBox supporting fundraising events and initiatives. When I learned about the opportunity to be involved further by being a ShelterBox Response Team Volunteer, I immediately started the application process.

'ShelterBox’s determination to bring about real change to the lives of others and the organisation’s ability to evolve and develop as the humanitarian landscape changes was and still is very inspiring.

ShelterBox really value their volunteers and work hard to cultivate their relationships with all their volunteers. 

Just as ShelterBox adopts a family-centric approach to its work, you feel as though you are part of a large family and network.

I really enjoy being able to be a direct link between the families helped, donors and other volunteers – not many organisations give you the opportunity to be involved in such a direct way.

Being a response volunteer also means there are endless training and personal development opportunities. I know that my confidence has grown as a result of my voluntary activity and I’m learning more all the time.

When I first visited the ShelterBox HQ in 2011 and was given the guided tour [...] by another volunteer, I knew I was about to be part of something special.

Six years later, I embarked on my first deployment to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, where I and my fellow volunteers from around the world helped to deliver the tools people needed to rebuild their lives.

Upon meeting with elders in a remote community that had been devastated by the disaster, I knew I will be a part of the ShelterBox family, and all those we work with, for a long time to come.