Rotarians raise �3,000 for Shelterboxes to aid Japan

Sid Valley and Sidmouth Rotarians receive massive support for tsunami appeal

SIX ShelterBoxes, heading for Japan to aid victims of its terrible earthquake and tsunami disaster, will be paid for by contributions from Sidmouth people.

Both Sidmouth Rotary Club and Sid Valley Rotary have raised enough to buy three boxes each.

Collectors were out in force the day after the disaster, with Sid Valley Rotarians outside Waitrose collecting �1,200 and Sidmouth Rotarians in the town centre getting �1,800, boosted by �230 from Branscombe Church.

Sid Valley club made up the amount needed to pay for three ShelterBoxes, said president Paul Dowen.

Meanwhile, Sidmouth Rotarian Iain Macmillan said he had been in touch with a Japanese teacher who was among four young professionals from Japan who were in Sidmouth in 2006 on a Rotary Group Study Exchange.

“Yumiko Katayama is a schoolteacher and she stayed with us and we kept in touch,” said Iain. “I emailed her and had a reply to say she was alright.”

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He said her home in Tochigi, 100km north of Tokyo, wasn’t badly damaged, but some facilities, including water supply, had been suspended, although they were now restored.

“She said they were short of gasoline, food goods and aftershocks continued,” he said, adding he was very relieved to know she was safe.