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Night under cardboard was eye opener

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Night under cardboard was eye opener

STRONG winds and torrential rain did not dampen the determination of five men who spent a night in Annan in a cardboard box.

Last Friday, Alan Dodds, Bill Maloney and Rev Petr Penaz from Annan Old Parish Church, Ian Robertson From the Border Kirk and Rev John Pickles from Annan St Andrews Parish Church took on the challenge to raise money and awareness about conditions in Nepal.
Reacting to a challenge from the Church of Scotland World Mission Council to highlight the plight of earthquake survivors in Nepal, Mr Dodds said: “As the people were known to be living in makeshift shelters we thought that building a cardboard house and spending a night in it would raise awareness of the problem and be a good way of raising money for the appeal.”
A wooden box lined by cardboard was created to sit in St Andrews Parish Church car park, tied to a tree.
Looking back on last Friday night, Mr Dodds said: “The weather could hardly have been worse with a strong wind blowing and torrential rain but the house was dry, after some running repairs where the top layer of cardboard washed off.”
However, Mr Dodds notes that the 12 ft by 8 ft space could be occupied by entire families in Nepal.
He said: “The house we built might have been watertight but the wind whistled through the overlaps in the cardboard making the conditions inside cooler and not a little unpleasant.
“As there were only five of us in the house there was some room to turn over but the reality of the shelters in Nepal would be different with no room to move.
“The second thing that struck us was how vulnerable we were, not just because we were outside our comfort zone.
“It would be fair to say we felt exposed.”
After exiting at 7 am, the team enjoyed breakfast before a day of activities arranged by Rev Kate Vivers which covered issues such as frugal food, using leftovers, reconditioning furniture and a talk by Sandy Sneddon from World Mission on the state of the work in Nepal.
Mr Dodds says a sum of more than £4000 raised across the Presbytery ‘far exceeds our expectations’, and he notes that donations are still being received.

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