Charity seeks host families for 2018 Chernobyl children

February 26 2018

A CHARITY which offers children summer breaks as respite from radiation caused by the world's worst nuclear disaster is looking for a host family in or around the Downend area.

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A CHARITY which offers children summer breaks as respite from radiation caused by the world's worst nuclear disaster is looking for a host family in or around the Downend area.

The Bristol link of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline raises money for 16 children from Belarus to visit every summer.

The trips to the UK, with its the clean air and nourishing food, can add up to two years to the children's lives, which can be plagued by cancers and heart problems due to radiation caused by a nuclear accident in Chernobyl in 1986.

This summer a group of Belarusian boys and girls, aged 10, will be spending four weeks’ respite, each staying two weeks with a host family. 

Charlie Walker, one of the charity's supporters who lives in Downend, said hosting was a really positive way to make an impact of the lives of the children.

"CCLL started after the disaster to help children and their families have a better future," he said.

"A continual low level radiation means that children’s immune systems suffer and there are still many cases of childhood cancers and other related illnesses, even now in 2018, as a result of this disaster. So with great care children are chosen every year for these respite breaks. We take our radiation free food, air and water for granted - but even four weeks without it gives an immediate and long term health boost.  

"All the boys and girls receive free eye tests, dental check-ups and measured footwear during the stay. On top of this these children are given a hope in their future, from receiving a fun-filled holiday in a loving family home." 

The charity is looking for a host family for two boys for the second two weeks of their stay, from Sunday July 22 to Sunday August 5.

Hosts don’t have to speak Russian as the Belarusian school teachers who accompany the children are experienced and fluent English speakers who provide around the clock support. 

They are also allocated buddy families for additional support, and activities and outings are planned throughout the children's stay. Home checks and DBS will be required. 

The work of CCLL depends entirely on volunteer donations and local support. 

Check out their Facebook page Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Bristol (@ccllbristol) for local fundraising events.

Charlie said: "Local businesses and organisations are amazingly generous donating supplies, clothing and trips for the children to enjoy. 

"Get in touch if your business or organisation is interested in supporting us in any way big or small."

To host, be involved in fundraising or to arrange a talk for your school, group or work, contact Andy March chair.bristol@ccll.org.uk or visit www.ccll.org.uk/bristol