Celebrating the support we’ve shown for ShelterBox

We were proud to support international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, as our national charity for 2022/23.

Everyone deserves a place to call home

ShelterBox believe that “Everyone deserves a place to call home. It is a human right and the first step towards recovery after disaster”. They work with disaster-affected communities to provide the emergency shelter, essential items and training to support families recover and rebuild their homes after disaster or conflict. The earthquakes that affected Southern Türkiye and Northern Syria, which led to the tragic deaths of close to 50,000 people and the displacement of millions, is an example of a disaster where ShelterBox will do their utmost to support people in desperate need.

Together, we achieved something truly remarkable

In just one year, the determination and generosity of our UHY teams made a tangible impact in the lives of those in need with an incredible total of £43,000 (inc. Gift Aid) raised for ShelterBox. This was raised through more than 20 fundraising events such as raffles, walking challenges, tough mudders, marathons, bike rides, sweepstakes, quizzes and a festive Christmas Jumper Day, culminating with a huge national fundraising challenge which saw 125 UHY team members, friends and family take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Friday 21 April 2023.

Our national fundraiser - the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 24 mile (38.6km) round trip route, and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent. The challenge saw 125 adventurers from across UHY take on the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres), in a mission to raise as much money as possible for ShelterBox (and all within 12 hours). These hills form part of the Pennine range, and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Despite three weather hazard warnings of high winds, severe chill effect and poor visibility, at 6am our 125 participants laced up their walking boots, grabbed a ShelterBox t-shirt and headed to the starting point of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. Although there were blue skies to start with, the winds quickly picked up which meant teams had to race to get to the tops of the peaks before it got too dangerous to continue. 

Harriet Whernside
Harriet's story of the day

London audit director, Harriet Hodgson-Grove, was one of our brave participants and this is her story of the day

“Our group were in good spirits and feeling positive after reaching the peak of a cloud covered Ingleborough at 7:31am after a 6:15am start. We reached the peak of Pen-y-Ghent at 10:55am, despite the winds starting to pick up and working against us, making every step that little bit harder. With the weather conditions worsening we had to re-route from the top of the peak and double back on ourselves, adding another mile or so to our route.

One of the best parts of the day for me was the 10 mile stretch between Pen-y-Ghent to Whernside. At this point the sun was shining, the lambs were dancing and, despite having to keep up the pace to keep to the 12 hour deadline, we were able to take in the stunning views and enjoy the chance to be outside in the great outdoors with our colleagues and friends."

Harriet Yorkshire three peaks

"At the final stop before attempting to reach the peak of Whernside, the best cup of Yorkshire tea we’d ever had was waiting for us, along with a slice of jam roly poly cake, giving us the energy to push on to the final hurdle.

Unfortunately, the wind had other ideas… 84 meters from the summit of Whernside at around 3:30pm the winds increased to a terrifying 70mph and the guides made the difficult decision to turn back on ourselves (adding another three miles to our total for the day). I can’t quite describe the force of the winds, but it meant having to crawl down parts of it to prevent being blown over.

On the descent from Whernside we had to dig deep as the heavens opened and the rain started to dampen our spirits. The finish line was still four miles away and, after over 10 hours of being on our feet we pushed, pulled, grumbled but encouraged our team all the way to the end which was a fantastic achievement.”

This was a challenge both physically and mentally for all involved. Everyone who turned up at 6am for the start, no matter how far they got, made an extraordinary effort to raise funds for ShelterBox. It was an incredibly rewarding day, and a great example of our UHY teams living and breathing our UHY values.

We set a target for each of our participants to raise at least £150 for ShelterBox in the hope of raising £18,750, and we absolutely smashed that target! In total, the challenge raised an amazing £28k for ShelterBox.

Shelterbox kit
Providing hope, warmth, and light to those facing unimaginable challenges

Our fundraising events, combined with donations from 1,200 individuals, have helped make a difference that goes beyond numbers, supporting people across the world who are suffering with the fallout of such devastating events like the Türkiye and Syria earthquakes and the Ukraine war. Thanks to our efforts, we have been able to provide: 

  • Support for over 700 families, enabling them to repair their homes and begin the process of recovery, or 
  • More than 6,100 blankets to offer comfort and warmth to those facing devastating nights without shelter, or 
  • Over 3,800 solar lights, allowing families to continue their lives even in darkness, when there is no other source of light. 

These achievements reflect the tremendous compassion and dedication within UHY, as well our commitment to helping communities prosper. Our contributions have provided hope, warmth, and light to those facing unimaginable challenges. The impact we’ve had on over 700 families, with the means to repair their homes and begin the process of recovery, is truly remarkable.

A few words from ShelterBox CEO, Sanj Srikanthan

“At ShelterBox, we really come into our own with rapid-onset disasters and conflicts and we are responding to more people than ever before. 

We are fortunate our funding is very flexible. If you take government grants, you must do exactly what the grant is telling you to do, whereas we can work wherever we want. For example, in Bangladesh we didn’t go to Cox’s Bazar, where a lot of the NGOs and the majority of government focus was. We went into the hill communities that nobody was working with. They had not been assessed and there was no government funding to work with these communities, but we could support them and provide aid because our funding is flexible. 

ShelterBox is entirely funded through private fundraising but, increasingly, our biggest growth areas are through the corporates, trusts and foundations that we work with. Whilst ShelterBox is not huge, we are very fortunate in that the people who support us are incredibly loyal. This is partly because there is a tangible difference in the aid we give; the impact on families is immediate."

Sanj Srikanthan, ShelterBox CEO

A community case study - ShelterBox
27th Sep 2023
A community case study: helping ShelterBox prosper

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