Fundraisers overcome distancing challenges to help ease virus risk

Forres Rotary Club is appealing to the public to support their fundraising efforts this weekend to help make a difference to those who have no protection against the global pandemic. 

Volunteers will be holding a socially-distanced collection in the Tesco car park in Forres between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 22 August to raise cash and awareness for the Shelterbox appeal which aims to provide practical help for vulnerable individuals, including those in temporary camps, war or disaster zones to maintain good hygiene and minimise their risk of contracting Covid-19. 

Over 20 years, The local club has raised £60,000for this appeal alone, which has helped 100 families. Each box can support up to eight people.

President Tanya McLaren, Rotary Club members and Shelterbox co-ordinator Andy Wardley realised it was vital to help people who may be at greater risk of contracting the virus due to their desperate circumstances, but organising a collection was challenging. 

Andy said: “We had to ensure the safety of members and the public and ensure we met with all social distancing guidance and regulations. We have completed a risk assessment and special measures will be in place to make sure we comply.  

Spare change

“Although it is in the pipeline for future fundraisers, we are not yet set up to take card payments so we will have the usual cash collection buckets in place and are hoping the public will remember to bring their spare change and be generous and help us to help people in a desperate situation. “

Tanya added: “This is our first public outing since lockdown and although the club has been maintaining contact with members through monthly Zoom chats, like other clubs in Rotary we wanted to get back out there and do what we do best with the help of the Forres public which is to help others.

“We approached Tesco about our plans and they were happy to allow us to go ahead. Shelterbox is a global organisation that provides kits to disaster areas, containing everything someone in crisis would need from a tent with sleeping bags, to tools, cooking utensils, water purification tablets and more, but they have adapted kits to include hand sanitisers, and other items which will help keep people safe who are living in overcrowded situations where disease is rife and where Coronavirus could spread like wildfire without the means to protect themselves.  

A spokesperson from Shelterbox said: “Now, more than ever, shelter is essential to families who have lost their homes to keep them safe and help limit the spread of the virus.” For up to date information on how Shelterbox is responding to the Coronavirus crisis and helping to keep vulnerable families and volunteers safe visit their website:  

If you can’t pop along to Tesco but would like to donate to the Shelterbox Coronavirus appeal then visit their webpage where you can donate online:

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