Our inspiration

In May 2009, Carolyn was using a ShelterBox video during a lesson with a group of Portuguese teenagers.

But, watching from the back of the room, it was Carolyn who found herself moved to tears by the simple story of a young girl who had lost her home and many friends in an earthquake.


That video became the main inspiration for our ride. For us, it sums up not only what ShelterBox is all about but also why we want to help:

At the time, we were thinking about going off on a long-distance tandem ride but hadn’t decided on when or where. Watching that video started the sequence of ideas that led to the journey we’re now undertaking.


Huw: “In 2004-5, Carolyn and I rode 6,000 miles around Europe on our tandem – a wonderful experience that gave us a taste for big adventures and the open road.

Cycling to Portugal - January 2005

“After returning to Cornwall, I joined ShelterBox to run their publicity & fundraising work. I was deeply inspired by what I saw there – a small team of dedicated staff supported by volunteers all over the world.

“While I was with ShelterBox we sent aid to tens of thousands of disaster victims – in Africa, Asia, South America etc, etc.

“Many of the stories we heard were heartbreaking but we knew we were giving new hope to some of the families affected – and basic necessities to help them cope with the disaster they had survived.

“While at ShelterBox, I even sent Carolyn – then news editor of our local newspaper – out to Pakistan so she could report first hand on how our aid was being used!

Carolyn with ShelterBoxes in Karachi – 2007

“After deciding we needed a break from journalism and PR, we both retrained as TEFL teachers and went off to teach English in Portugal for a couple of years.

“However, neither of us forgot about ShelterBox. That’s why we both want the adventure of another tandem trip but this time we want to make a difference.  This time, we want our ride to serve a purpose.”

Tents, Rotary Club, Rotarians


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