St Martin’s Man Makes Emergency Aid Mission To Malaysia

ben julian shelterbox 2015The co-owner of St Martins’ Churchtown flower farm has been describing the harrowing conditions he’s faced on an aid mission to Malaysia.

Ben Julian volunteered as a Shelter Box responder in an area of the country hit by severe flooding of the River Timbeling.

It’s the second time he’s gone abroad as part of a team from the Helston-based, Rotary-backed charity. Last year Ben helped survivors of the typhoon that hit the Philippines.

Shelter Box personnel travelled by boat deep into the rainforest to assess the situation following the flooding, which has submerged whole areas and forced 200,000 people to leave their homes.

He has been providing victims with Shelter Boxes containing life-saving equipment, including a family-sized tent, thermal blankets, ground sheets, water purification equipment, mosquito nets, solar lamps, cooking utensils and tools.

Ben says one concrete home he visited wasn’t strong enough when the massive flood came and only the floor was left. The family managed to evacuate, but they had no time to plan their escape and left everything behind. They have lost everything.

It’s a busy time of the year for any Scilly flower farmer but Ben’s wife Zoe says she can spare him from the business so that he can help with the emergency aid, as the Churchtown team are “well organised.”

Ben decided to become a volunteer when a Shelter Box representative visited St Martin’s school base to talk to the children. Ben gave him a lift from the quay to the school, they got talking and Ben was inspired to join.

He has committed to volunteer for one mission a year.