Charity’s appeal for host families for Chernobyl kids

Children from Chernobyl visit the Mayor of Preston, Coun Bobby Cartwright
Children from Chernobyl visit the Mayor of Preston, Coun Bobby Cartwright
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A CHARITY will have to stop welcoming children from Chernobyl unless more host families can urgently be found.

Chernobyl Children’s Life Line has brought youngsters to Lancashire every year since 1991, to offer them much-needed respite from the ongoing effects of the nuclear disaster at the Ukrainian power plant in 1986.

Experts reckon the health benefits of the month-long holidays can extend the children’s life expectancy by up to two years.

The charity is in its 30th year but with just a handful of families in Lancashire volunteering to host a child this summer, this year’s trip is in jeopardy unless more volunteers can be found soon.

Chris Riley, from Kirkham, is the chairman of the charity’s Red Rose link in Lancashire. She said: “We need about four to six families to volunteer to take the children as we don’t have that many at the moment. We’re also always looking for donations to help with the travelling costs as things like visas are really expensive nowadays. The children will be coming over from Belarus where the situation since the disaster hasn’t really improved in the last 30 years. The children are usually between the ages of around 10 to 12 and getting them over here means they can have some fresh air and food, something they won’t see much of back home.

“We hope that by bringing them over here, it will hopefully extend their lifespan by around two years. We also like to do things they won’t have had a chance to do before like going to theme parks.”

Host families need to be able to provide a room, meals and transport for two children for a fortnight in between mid-July and mid-August.

• Call Chris on 01772 686339 or 077 88 898 328.