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ShelterBox welcomes Olympic hero Ben Ainslie in support of Syria appeal
1:10pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
ShelterBox welcomed Olympic yachtsman and America’s Cup victor Sir Ben Ainslie yesterday, on a flying visit to support its Syria Refugee Appeal.
The quadruple Olympic gold medallist, who was knighted in the last New Year’s Honours, has long been a supporter of the disaster relief charity.
A former Truro School pupil, he learnt to sail at Restronguet Creek near Falmouth and his parents still live near to ShelterBox’s Helston headquarters, on the Lizard.
Despite a tight transatlantic schedule, Sir Ben took time out to endorse the charity’s Syria Refugee Appeal by visiting the base in Water-ma-Trout.
The appeal aims to raise £2 million worldwide in order to help up to 5,000 more refugee families in Syria and surrounding countries.
Sir Ben said: “It is great to see a Westcountry charity making such a tangible difference. I have been involved with ShelterBox for a couple of years now, and seen the charity come a long way.
“It is great to lend a hand, and to see so many volunteers here. You don’t realise until you come somewhere like this just what is going on globally – it is daunting, and a little upsetting. But if you’d lost your home I guess you’d be pretty happy to see one of these ShelterBox tents turn up.”
He was briefed on ShelterBox’s current operations, joined the team packing boxes for Syria himself in the organisation’s warehouse, and recorded some personal messages for supporters and donors.
Director of operations John Leach said: “Sir Ben Ainslie is simply an inspiration for an organisation like ShelterBox – recognised on the world stage for his professionalism and determination, proud of his Cornish roots, a true team player very much in line with our charitable aims.
“His endorsement of our Syria Refugee Appeal, and his visit today, have given a great boost.”
To donate to ShelterBox’s Syria Refugee Appeal phone 0300 0300 500 or go online to www.shelterbox.org/syria
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