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Charity appeals for families in Beccles and Lowestoft to help children from Chernobyl enjoy once in a lifetime trip

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 November 2017

The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line earlier this year. Picture: Alison Stannard.

The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line earlier this year. Picture: Alison Stannard.

Archant

An appeal has gone out to find families who can open their hearts and homes to children who still feel the effects of a nuclear disaster.

The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line earlier this year. Picture: Alison Stannard. The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line earlier this year. Picture: Alison Stannard.

The Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (CCLL) is calling for individuals or families in the Beccles and Lowestoft areas to host one or two children during their visit in June 2018.

Each year the link raises money to bring a small group of nine to 11-year-old girls and boys over from Belarus to give them a much-needed health break from the contamination caused by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Alison Stannard from Hales, near Loddon, set up the Chet and Waveney link in 2014, after volunteering as a host for the charity.

Alison Stannard, founder of the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Life. 

Picture: Archant. Alison Stannard, founder of the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Life. Picture: Archant.

She said: “Our charity brings children to the UK because a month away from the contamination, eating good nourishing food, drinking clean water and breathing clean air improves their health and gives their immune systems a chance to recover. It also gives them a once in a life time opportunity and an experience they will probably never forget. For example, Belarus is land-locked so a visit to Suffolk presents the only opportunity the children will have to play on the beach and paddle in the sea.”

The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line charity was established in 1992. Belarus received over 70pc of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and as a result, thousands of children are born every year with, or go on to develop, thyroid cancer, bone cancer and leukemia. The air, soil and water courses are polluted with radiation and will continue to be so for hundreds of years to come.

Mrs Stannard said: “Every year we aim to bring a group of children for a health break in this area. While we are lucky to have lots of people who offer their support with activities while they are here, the children cannot come unless we have host families or individuals who can share their homes with one or two children for the four weeks of the visit.

The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line in a previous year. Picture: Nick Butcher. The children from Belarus enjoying activities during their visit with the Chet and Waveney Link of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line in a previous year. Picture: Nick Butcher.

“The children don’t speak English but this is never a problem because they come with a group leader of interpreter and we are able to give host families lots of support.”

Thanks to support from businesses and individuals, particularly Ian Willis and customers at The Butcher’s Arms in Beccles, the link can afford to bring 10 children to stay in Waveney in June 2018.

To find out more and to volunteer as a host, call Mrs Stannard on 01508 549047. Alternatively you can email astannard@uwclub.net or visit www.facebook.com/CCLLChetandWaveney

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