Islander to work with Cornish charity ShelterBox

Flooding in the southern Russian town of Krymsk
Image caption ShelterBox volunteers are heading to Russia to help survivors of the floods

A flower farmer from the Isles of Scilly has become the first islander to be selected as a ShelterBox volunteer.

The international emergency relief charity put St Martin's resident Ben Julian through a rigorous training course before he was selected.

Mr Julian, co-owner of his family's flower delivery firm, Scent from the Islands, is now ready to be deployed to disaster zones.

The Helston charity has delivered aid to more than 75 different countries.

'Very little sleep'

ShelterBox teams are currently en route to flood survivors in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia.

The organisation has responded to about 200 natural or man-made disasters, providing aid for more than one million people.

Mr Julian said: "A ShelterBox representative came to visit the islands last summer and I was asked to help transport them around.

"It was during that visit and the conversations I had that the idea of volunteering started."

Mr Julian had to complete a nine-day training course, thorough interview and three-day selection weekend.

He said: "On the course there were people from all over the world including the US and Holland.

"We were put under a lot of pressure and had very little sleep, but it's essential to ensure potential volunteers will be able to cope in a disaster zone."

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