Laen’s ShelterBox bike ride raises over $1,000!


Laen with sponsor, Mike Latimer from Transition Cycles in Ballina, NSW

Laen with sponsor, Mike Latimer from Transition Cycles in Ballina, NSW

When 12-year old Laen Wilkin learned about the work of ShelterBox during a presentation at his local school, the Alstonville Primary student decided that he wanted to do something to help those affected by disaster and humanitarian crisis.

With the help of his mum Nell, he was soon planning a bike ride from nearby Ballina to Byron, towing one of the charity’s iconic green ShelterBoxes. In addition to raising money on his personalised fundraising page, Laen planned to stop off along the way a deliver presentations on ShelterBox to other primary schools along the way. The ride was to take place over three days, with Laen camping out at night, sleeping in a ShelterBox disaster relief tent and utilising the contents of a box to fetch water, cook and keep warm.

Come 1st August, Laen was all set and headed off from Transition Cycles in Ballina to speak to the children at Ballina Public School before riding to his first camp site at Flat Rock Tent Park.

Laen at Flat Rock Tent Park

Over the next day, Laen rode to Lennox Head, where he spoke at the local public school and received a boost to his fundraising when the staff at the Kiosk café and the Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co donated their tip jars! Then it was on the Byron Bay for another presentation at Byron Public School, before culminating his ride at Cape Byron’s iconic Lighthouse.


Lean at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse, at the completion of his ride

Laen said, ‘I created and completed my fundraiser because I thought it was the right thing to do’.

Laen received great support from his family along the way, his mum, Nell said, the experience ‘strengthened Laen’s independence, awareness and communication in how to practically create change for the better for all people in times of need. Determination, self-belief and compassion to support others are qualities I’ve been lucky to see Laen express during his ShelterBox journey

I think we can all admire the efforts of this impressive young man, determined to make a difference. Well done Laen!

Start your own fundraiser here: Fundraise For Disaster Relief

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Laen would like to thank the following for their support: Transition Cycles (Ballina), Just Ride Cycles (Lismore), Northern Rivers Family Garden, Flat Rock Tent Park, The Kiosk (Lennox Head), Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co, North Coast Holiday Park (Lennox Head), Byron Holiday Park, Ballina Advocate, Northern Star

Bluesfest 24 a Great Success For ShelterBox

Not a relief new tent but he ShelterBox stand at Bluesfest 24!

Not a new relief tent but he ShelterBox stand at Bluesfest 24!

ShelterBox had a presence at the Byron Bluesfest for the second year running, meeting up with some old friends and making lots of new ones. The stand had plenty of visits from Rotarians from all over Australia and New Zealand and even one family originally from near Helston, the birthplace of ShelterBox. The annual event, one of the world’s premier music festivals, attracted 81,000 to the Tyagarah site over the 5 days of Bluesfest and provided a great platform for the promotion of ShelterBox and many other good causes.

Although the purpose stand was primarily to inform the public, donations were gladly accepted and a phone charging service provided. Enough money was raised to buy a ShelterBox and those that contributed will be able to track the Bluesfest box on-line when it is allocated.

Phone recharging system in action ..... trust me, there is a method!

Phone recharging system in action ….. trust me, there is a method!

My little helpers distributing information leaflets

My little helpers distributing information leaflets

I’d like to thank festival organiser Peter Noble and charity stalls coördinator, Shelley Sellors for having us at the festival again. Thanks also to all those that paid us a visit and donated, and all the wonderful artists and performers that made it such a memorable experience.

ShelterBox @ Bluesfest, Byron Bay

ShelterBox Australia are thrilled to announce that we have been granted a stall at this year’s Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Northern NSW.  We will have a unique opportunity to interact with and inform the tens of thousands of festival goers from around the world, spreading the ShelterBox word and raising some much needed funds.

“Bluesfest is one of the most highly awarded festivals in Australia. In 2005 and 2006 Bluesfest won the Helpmann Award for ‘Australia’s best contemporary Music Festival’. Between 1994 and 2010 Bluesfest has consistently been awarded Rhythms Magazine readers poll for ‘Australia’s Best Music Festival’. The only year Bluesfest did not win was in 1997 when it came second. The awards Bluesfest has won are unprecedented for a rural event.”

“Bluesfest has also been nominated by The international concert magazine Pollstar (USA) in 2005 and 2006 as one of the top five finalists in the category ‘international event of the year’ alongside such major festivals as The Glastonbury Festival (winner both years) and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Bluesfest is viewed as one of the world’s great music festivals.”

Check out the amazing line-up, book your tickets and don’t forget to come and see us. More information to follow.