A NAILSWORTH charity worker has appeared in a video revealing what it is like to deliver aid to those who have lost everything.

Liz Odell starred in the video which was produced at the recent Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland conference held in Manchester.

In the video Liz shares her first impressions soon after arriving at the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

She began working with ShelterBox, a charity providing emergency shelter to those who have had their homes robbed by conflict or natural disaster, 10 years ago.

Liz, a response team volunteer, has explained how a ‘eureka’ moment at a rotary club meeting led to her volunteering in disaster hit communities all over the world for over a decade.

After seeing a ShelterBox speaker at Nailsworth Rotary Club, Liz realised that she wanted to be at the sharp end delivering the aid and she retired from her role in the financial industry.

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Liz went through a period of intense training, it took her a year to get through the selection and training process, which included sleeping - or not sleeping - in a tent on the Lizard in the frost in March, and trekking across Dartmoor, soaked to the skin in August.

In 2010 she was sent on her first deployment to Haiti to help with the relief after the earthquake disaster.

“I had never seen such devastation; the lack of infrastructure and living in a tent on the side of the airport runway made it an especially challenging trip from a personal perspective.”

“I just spent the whole week with my chin on the floor,” Liz said.

For the past 10 years Liz has been an integral member of the ShelterBox team - responding to international disasters.

She has delivered aid first hand in places such as Lombok Island in Indonesia, which involved organising trucks to help with transportation following the earthquake.

Time in Bangladesh was spent offering support to those affected by the Rohingya Crisis, the most rapidly growing refugee crisis, as well as Nepal where they were amidst a 7.3 magnitude earthquake.

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Although Liz has lived in the Stroud Valleys her whole life, said she is amazed by the sense of well-being gained by being one of the first out in the field to help others in the wake of an emergency.

“I also can’t start to describe the sense of satisfaction,” she said.

“It’s emotionally demanding, with long days; but I’m part of a team helping to put shelter over people’s heads.

“I’ve discovered just how much strength and perseverance I have. In the wake of a disaster you come across lots of obstacles, but I just don’t give up.

“I push and push, coming up with alternative solutions until I reach my goal.

“The people in Nepal I helped called me the ‘angry grandmother’ which although it doesn’t sound it, is a compliment.

“I’ve also become far less materialistic. I am so grateful, realising how lucky I am to live in the country I live in.

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A stand out moment came when she gave a tent to a man who had lost everything in the Nepal earthquake, which gave him a chance to start his life over again.

“We were all crying because we were all just incredibly moved,” Liz said.

“It’s very interesting to hear their stories, because you don’t always get the chance when you’re busy giving out aid all day.”

When the island of Lombok in Indonesia was hit by a series of violent earthquakes last month, Liz was one of the first Response Team Volunteers on the ground.

Liz also deployed to Bangladesh last year, when ShelterBox responded to the Rohingya Crisis.

Between deployments Liz continues to fundraise, along with speaking to schools and women’s institutes.

When asked about her long-term goals with Shelterbox, Liz said: “Keep on doing what I can, as long as I’m healthy, I’ll carry on.”

Liz Odell is the daughter of the late Jack Odell OBE, co-founder of the Matchbox toy cars brand.

“I was born into fortunate circumstances, and volunteering lets me give something back,” she added.

Visit shelterbox.org to learn more about their work.