Pupils get chance to see equipment that saves lives

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DOZENS of pupils crowded into a tent that will one day help people across the globe when disaster strikes.

The Year 3 classes from Newton Primary School in Queen’s Road, Gosport, were exploring a ShelterBox at an exhibit at Gosport Gallery run by Gosport Rotary Club.

Members of the club are fundraising to buy more to send to areas in need.

Rotarians need £600 in donations to buy each box, which contains a tent, stove and vital equipment for survival.

It all fits in one box and includes pots, tools, thermal blankets, groundsheets and even colouring pencils and paper for children.

Grace Smith, eight, a Year 3 pupil, was delighted to explore the carvernous tent, which takes up to 10 people.

She said: ‘It’s really big and loads of people can live in it.

‘The ShelterBox can help them live through conflict or a tornado.

‘If their home fell down they still need a home and loads of stuff so it will help them to live longer.’

The ShelterBox idea started at Rotary and now clubs across the globe raise cash to stock a steady supply of them.

This year they have already been used in Fiji after a Cyclone Evan hit and in Nigeria after the country saw some of its worst flooding for 50 years.

The ShelterBox’s sister, the AquaBox, purifies water, filtering out 99.7 per cent of toxins from dirty water sources.

Simon Mason from Gosport Rotary helped organise the exhibition at Gosport Gallery in Walpole Road.

He said: ‘In schools they need to know what disasters are.

‘The most important thing in a disaster is family, water and shelter.

‘With those three things they can do it – you need your family around you and you need somewhere live, and you can survive just on water.’

Mayor of Gosport Councillor Richard Dickson officially unveiled the exhibition on Monday with mayoress Roberta Irvine.

Members of Gosport Rotary are encouraging the public to attend its book sale, which runs until Saturday at the gallery.

They will be selling the books to support the Shelter Box scheme and to raise cash for Gosport and District Sports Association for the Disabled (GADSAD).

It comes after the GADSAD building in Elson Road was damaged in a fire last year.