ROTARIANS are hoping people will give generously to help those who have ‘lost everything’ in natural disasters around the world.

Three Rotary clubs have joined forces to hold emergency collections today (Wednesday) until 12pm at Fairfield car park and tomorrow and Saturday in South Street, Dorchester from 10am to 4pm.

The volunteers from Casterbridge, Dorchester and Poundbury Rotary clubs will be collecting to raise money to buy Shelterboxes and Water-Aid Boxes to help those in the world who have been affected by the many recent disasters around the world.

Diana Apps, of the Casterbridge club, said many people have been moved by pictures and footage of the devastation left by recent hurricanes in the United States and beyond.

She said: “Most of us do not even like losing our phones, and these people have lost everything. It really puts things into perspective.”

Funds raised will go replenish supplies of Shelterboxes and Water Survival boxes, which provide immediate essentials after a disaster.

Both Shelterbox and Water Survival Box are Rotary charities. Around 500 Shelterboxes have already been sent to Barbuda but more are needed.

Mrs Apps said: “They basically contain the essentials that people need – tents, water purifying equipment, things to keep people alive, but there are also other items such as crayons, to keep the children occupied.”

She added that previous collections for disaster relief have prompted ‘hugely generous’ donations from residents and shoppers in Dorchester.

“There is always such a wonderful response. These sorts of disasters are going on all the time but I think particularly when it’s places that people have been on holiday, they can relate to it. You would never dream of this sort of thing happening.

“Our collection tins are designed for coins but people are so generous that in the past we have had cheques and notes. It’s just about getting that immediate aid to people who really need it.”

The Rotary clubs will be very grateful for any help the local people can give.

Each Shelterbox costs £590 and a Water Survival Box costs £150.

Donations can be made in the town at the collecting points or by text to Casterbridge Rotary’s JustGiving Site.  Just text CAST12 £5 to 70070.