No two humanitarian disasters are the same, which means ShelterBox responses need to be flexible as well as fast. Always looking to improve value for families in need and for our donors, the charity has been working with LCP Consulting, experts in how to sharpen our supply chain.
When ShelterBox goes shopping for aid products, the whole world is its market place – boxes from Belgium, tents from China, Vietnam and Pakistan, solar lighting from the USA, water filters from the UK.
Getting the very best value for money means considering where each item is sourced, the reputation of its suppliers, and the cost of transporting it to our headquarters in Cornwall, UK for packing, or sometimes direct to a disaster zone. All this for an aid organisation that has to be prepared every day of the year for an unknown workload in unpredictable locations.
This complex map of sourcing, supply and storage needs constant review as new products and new trading routes emerge. So ShelterBox is fortunate to be working with one of the world’s major supply chain thought leaders, LCP Consulting. LCP has worked across many sectors, including retail, manufacturing, public services, chemicals, energy and automotive. They are using this vast knowledge to help ShelterBox develop a world class supply chain.
LCP also has an impressive list of household-name clients, including retail giants Marks & Spencer, ASDA, Hewlett Packard, Sony, British Airways, DHL Solutions, Unilever, Walmart, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Shell, Argos, and Tesco.
Alison Wallace, Chief Executive of ShelterBox, says, ‘Many of the lessons and logistics that help goods reach our supermarket shelves apply also to ShelterBox’s procurement needs, so the offer of working with LCP was very valuable to us. The aid products that we purchase must be of good quality, available in the quantities we need, and from sources that we can rely on to help us respond to sudden demand during a major disaster. We must also consider where in the world we position our supplies, for what duration, and how they should be stored.’
‘Although our workload is volatile and unpredictable from month to month, we absolutely have to deliver at the right time and value for money – our donors and supporters rightly expect nothing less.’
LCP features ShelterBox as one of its online case studies, amid dozens of national and international brands. It says, ‘Time was of the essence for an NGO that provides temporary shelter for displaced families in disaster zones. Working closely with their team to understand their business, we developed a solution to deliver improved value for money to donors, increased organisational capacity, and more effective response times. Strengthening their supply chain enabled them to deliver help where it was needed, and fast.’
Shelterbox asked LCP to review its processes and operations to provide an independent view on where improvements could be made. Their recommendations include shortening the lead times on product ordering where possible to minimise stock and storage costs. They recognised the need for fast on-the-ground response to support families who need aid, so advised ShelterBox on the forward deployment of stock and the availability of response teams, all aimed at increasing the charity’s deployment agility and reducing its costs.
In April this year ShelterBox itself offered advice to the retail industry about the challenges of delivering to parts of the world where there may not be roads, let alone postcodes. CEO Alison Wallace spoke at the Home Delivery World Europe conference to an audience including brands such as Harrods, Habitat and Disney, and product deliverers including eBay and Direct Link.
ShelterBox is honoured to have been chosen as one of three charities to receive funds from this year’s Royal Film Performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 26 October.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have nominated ShelterBox to benefit from one of London’s biggest red carpet events, theRoyal Film Performance at the Royal Albert Hall, which this year will be the World Premiere of the 24th James Bond adventure, SPECTRE.
The Royal Film Performance is held in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), the charity for the UK film, cinema and commercial television industries, which provides support for those working behind the scenes in times of hardship. SPECTRE will be the third Bond film chosen since the Royal Film Performances began in 1946.
Their Royal Highnesses were invited to nominate two further charities to benefit from this year’s event. ShelterBox was chosen, in particular for its work in Nepal following the earthquakes, and Save the Children for their role helping families fleeing Syria and Iraq, and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The charities receive an equal share of the value of tickets, and sales of a special souvenir programme featuring a page about ShelterBox.
Before the performance Their Royal Highnesses will meet trustees and beneficiaries of the CTBF, representatives of Save the Children, and ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace. They will then meet members of the film’s cast and crew including Daniel Craig and Ralph Fiennes. The cast will be joined by director Sam Mendes, and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who are vice patrons of the CTBF.
In SPECTRE, Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as Ian Fleming’s world famous secret agent, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation, while Ralph Fiennes as the new ‘M’ battles political forces to keep the secret service alive. The movie was shot at Pinewood Studios, and on location in London, Mexico City, Rome, Morocco and Austria.
ShelterBox’s Alison Wallace says, ‘For ShelterBox to have been put in the spotlight in this way, and given the chance to benefit from such a Royal and celebrity occasion, is a huge honour. The world’s media will be there, and we will have the chance to tell some very famous and influential people what we do, and how we do it.’
‘I suppose our own response volunteers could be considered international agents too, though a little less glamorous and secretive than 007. ShelterBox also responds to disaster and danger. But there the similarity ends. We are so grateful to the Royal family and to Sony Pictures for including us in the ‘cast list’ for this event, and hope that all our donors, supporters and volunteers share our pride in ShelterBox being selected.’
This is ShelterBox’s second brush with Hollywood action movie fame this year. Here in Australia, we provided ShelterBoxes and tents for closing shots of a post-earthquake shelter camp at the climax of the winter blockbuster ‘San Andreas’ starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
SPECTRE is due for release in Australia on 12th November.
ShelterBox is proud to be Rotary International’s only official project partner worldwide. Now, with the relationship being extended into 2016, Alison Wallace explains why this is such a strong ‘circle of friendship’
In 2012 ShelterBox received the accolade of becoming Rotary International’s first-ever official Project Partner. Now it has heard that this unique partnership will be renewed until at least March 2016.
ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace says, ‘I’ve often thought that the phrase ‘what goes around, comes around’ suits Rotary ideally. Rotary has a circular emblem, and the notion of life having a circular karma – that personal acts of kindness will be returned to you via the kindness of others – seems to capture Rotary’s global spirit.’
‘The ShelterBox team shares that spirit, because there is no greater calling than helping people in distress. Time and again Rotarians work alongside ShelterBox – many of them within it. So I am delighted that Rotary International has extended our official project partnership, further strengthening a circle of friendship that reaches around the world.’
The agreement offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.
Fundraising efforts by Rotarians and their clubs worldwide make up a large proportion of the donations received by ShelterBox. Rotary clubs also provide invaluable support to field operations in disaster zones, by acting as consignees for aid, helping with transport, accommodation, providing vital local knowledge and an ability to cut through red tape. Many ShelterBox Response Team volunteers are Rotarians, and every one of ShelterBox’s international affiliate organisations was set up by Rotarians or Rotaracters.
Alison adds, ‘The importance of Rotary to ShelterBox can’t be overstated. Just a handful of examples – it was a Rotary contact that alerted us to the monsoon floods in Malaysia this Christmas, and introduced our team to the country’s Prime Minister. We are one of very few western agencies able to operate in North Korea, due largely to liaison through a Rotary contact in Shanghai. Rotarians in Jordan have been essential to our work there helping Syrian refugees, and in May 2014 local Rotarians helped us to reach flood-stricken families in isolated parts of Serbia.’
‘The list of our collaborations is continuous and endless. But I also think it is the individual acts of support that exemplify this special relationship, such as Medway Rotarian Ann Livings, who recently walked up Snowdon despite having severe arthritis, raising funding for two ShelterBoxes.’
Back in 2012, Iquitos Rotarians in Peru alerted ShelterBox to Amazon River flooding. They worked with ShelterBox Response Team Malcolm Shead and Rachel Simpkins, provided translation, funded transport of ShelterBoxes up the river, and helped get aid to remote communities. By the end of the deployment ShelterBox and Rotary had provided 171 boxes to families in this inhospitable landscape.
For nearly a century Rotary clubs in the Philippines have been creating positive change. The first Philippine Rotary club was created in Manila in 1919, and in 1979 Rotary funded the immunisation of six million children to help eradicate polio. Now the Philippines’ 800 Rotary Clubs have stood alongside ShelterBox and its charity partners in a year-long response to Typhoon Haiyan, helping to create more resilient shelter so communities become less reliant on international aid after tropical storms.
Alison says, ‘In 15 years ShelterBox has grown from one Rotary club’s adopted project to become the largest global partnership in Rotary’s 100-year history. Last October I welcomed RIBI President Peter King to our Helston HQ. We both felt that the alliance of 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide with ShelterBox’s international reach had built a major force in humanitarian aid.’
‘It is great to see our partnership flourishing, and its official endorsement continuing for another year.’
In a year which has seen ShelterBox respond to 25 disasters around the world we’d like to extend a huge thanks to the global Rotary community without the support of which we could not continue our work to help families in need following disasters.
The local media then latched onto our efforts and helped to raise our profile and awareness. While we knew our 300 boxes were not going to have the greatest effect on the thousands of displaced families and communities, they had the best impact we could have asked for on the communities back home.
In a move signalling a gear change for international disaster relief organisation, ShelterBox, the charity has announced that three sector heavyweights will be joining its Board as new Trustees.
ShelterBox, now in its 14th year, and with a growing reputation for being ‘fast or first’ to help shelter families in the world’s disaster zones, is dedicated to adapting and refining its disaster aid response – to better protect and support communities overwhelmed by humanitarian crisis.
Joining its Board shortly will be:
- James Vaughan, Fundraising and Communications Director at top ten charity the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), where he has recently been transforming the way the RNLI raises its funds. With experience in London marketing and advertising agencies, James is also giving the RNLI a new international focus around drowning prevention.
- Robin Bayford, an experienced chartered accountant. He retired in 2012 from his post as finance director of the country’s largest private client fund manager, Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC, a FTSE 350 company employing 1,900 people. Robin helped increase the group’s turnover from £10 million to £269 million, was responsible for all its accountancy, treasury and taxation matters, and for its dealings with City analysts.
- James Sinclair Taylor, a Partner at top 100 London-based law firm Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP, where he heads up their charity and social enterprise team. An expert on Charity Commission regulation, he is also a member of the Charity Law Association. James is identified by Chambers 2011 as a ‘leading individual’ and ‘a massively effective lawyer’, and in Chambers 2014 for having ‘huge experience of the voluntary sector’. He also holds several other posts including management consultancy and trust grant distribution, has worked in the record industry, and advised UNICEF on international collaboration. James has founded three charities, and was appointed by the Secretary of State as Protector of the successor to the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts.
ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace says, ‘These are exciting times for our organisation, and we are very pleased to have attracted such expertise to the Board. Robust financial, fundraising and legal governance is vital to what we do, and how we do it. ShelterBox already has an authoritative voice in humanitarian aid, but Trustees of this calibre will help guide and endorse our plans to help more and more families in the future.’
The current Board of Trustees comprises:
- (Chair) Dr Rob John OBE FREng
- George Curnow
- Peter Munro-Lott
- Richard Bland
- Bill Decker
- Chris Warham
‘Not knowing what’s coming next’
Happy Holidays everybody and we wish you a very happy new year! Thank you!