Whitby shop owner raises £1,500 by living on refugee's rations

Deb Gillanders with her ration pack.
Deb Gillanders with her ration pack.

A Whitby shop owner is taking part in the sponsored Ration Challenge this week as part of Refugee Week.

Since Sunday June 16, Deb Gillanders, who owns Whitby Wholefoods, has only eaten the rations a refugee has to live on.

READ MORE: Whitby shop owner set to live on a refugee's rations for a week

Her original target was £1,000 but has already raised over £1,500 through generous donations from individuals and local businesses.

The challenge is designed to emulate, as closely as possible, the rations eaten by Syrian refugees in Jordan made up of rice, lentils, dried chickpeas, tinned sardines, tinned kidney beans and vegetable oil.

Deb said: "I'm no stranger to eating rice, lentils and kidney beans and I made good and sure I pigged out on fruit and veg last week.

"It's just so little with no variety."

She has made sure she is 'gently busy' during the week so as not to burn lots of calories.

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Deb continued: "It hasn't been too hard but the idea that you just eat that for any length of time and keep your spirits up and look after children - it's just not enough.

"I'm so glad I'm not a refugee, no one is going to chuck me out of where I live, but this challenge allows me to help them."

Money raised by the challenge, which is run in support of charity Concern Worldwide, helps support Syrian refugees living in camps in Jordan by providing food rations, medicine and education.

By reaching the £1,500 mark Deb has earned a special thank you gift made by refugee women from the Ration Challenge’s women’s business programme in Jordan.

She said: "I'm amazed by how much I've raised."

However she is keen to raise even more before the challenge ends on Sunday 23 when she plans to celebrate a friend's birthday with raspberries, cream and meringues and haddock and chips.

She added: "I'm hanging in there, it's not too late. There is still time to donate."

People can sponsor Deb in two ways – online, at my.rationchallenge.org.uk/debg or by popping into her shop Whitby Wholefoods, on St Ann’s Lane, where there is a jar on the counter for donations.