Teenager paddles more than 120 miles in 10-day charity fundraiser

3 min


Thousands of pounds raised for ShelterBox 

A teenager from Devon is returning to school this week having completed a 200km paddleboard during her summer break to help people who’re left homeless after experiencing natural disasters – or conflict. 

Emily Read has raised more than £3,000 for ShelterBox by paddling along the River Thames. The charity is an international disaster relief charity based in the Westcountry. 

‘The biggest challenge was continuing paddling through strong headwinds and torrential rain when at times it felt like I was paddling upstream and not down!’ explains Emily.   

‘I have lots of great memories from the challenge, but my highlight was being able to paddle sections with friends and my dog, Tipi, who were there to support me.’  

‘I am so grateful to everyone who donated to ShelterBox, and I know that the money will make a real difference to families in crisis.’ 

It comes as ShelterBox launches an emergency fundraising appeal to help people in Pakistan after deadly flash floods devastated large parts of the country which has affected 33 million people. 

The charity has an emergency response team working in Pakistan at the moment. Its goal is to get emergency shelter aid to the thousands of people who have been left with nowhere to live following flooding. 

Around one million houses have been damaged or destroyed, leaving behind millions of people in need of urgent shelter.  

The first of ShelterBox’s aid is shortly due to arrive in Pakistan with tents, water filters, water carriers, mosquito nets and solar lights being key components of the relief package.  

The 15-year-old was first inspired to fundraise for ShelterBox after seeing the charity’s stand at the Devon County Show at the age of 10. 

Emily went on to raise thousands of pounds for ShelterBox with a 500-mile cycling challenge whilst she was still at primary school. 

‘We were all so pleased when Emily got in touch saying she was challenging herself for ShelterBox once again,’ says Hollie Clements, Community Fundraising Officer for ShelterBox.

‘Emily completely smashed her fundraising target with her epic paddleboarding adventure and has raised more than £3,000 so far.’ 

‘This money will go such a long way towards ensuring that ShelterBox can provide urgently needed shelter to families in desperate need after disaster.’ 

‘Emily has put in so much time and effort with paddling the Thames. She’s an inspiration to us all, and we are proud she is part of Team ShelterBox!’ 

‘I am really pleased to have finished my 200km paddleboarding challenge,’ adds Emily. 

‘Although it was very tough at times, I met lovely people along the way who surprised me with super generous donations. One of the funniest moments was when a boat ran aground near Lechlade trying to put money in my collection bucket!’ 

ShelterBox specialises in providing emergency shelter and other essential items to people across the globe. 

As well as Pakistan, the charity is currently working to support people in Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. 

The charity has helped more than two million people across 98 countries since it was formed in 2000. It heavily relies on public donations to fund its response effort when it supplies aid to areas affected by disasters.Images kindly supplied by Emily Read and Shelterbox:  https://shelterbox.org

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