Appeal for families to foster a Chernobyl child for two weeks

Children from Chernobyl during a previous visit to Lancashire
Children from Chernobyl during a previous visit to Lancashire
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A charity is looking for kind-hearted families on the Fylde coast to open their doors to children who have been affected by a nuclear disaster.

The Lancashire-based Red Rose Link arm of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCL) arranges an annual visit for some of the youngsters whose lives have been touched by an explosion at a power plant many years before they were born.

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The Chernobyl disaster, on April 26, 1986, caused dozens of deaths – but the resulting contamination continues to cause problems to this day.

Chris Riley, chairman of the CCL’s Red Rose Link, said: “It is easy to believe that this issue was over many years ago and no longer requires the help of people in this country. You would be wrong.

“Each year we still bring as many children as possible from the still affected areas for rest, recuperation, fresh air and fresh food.

“A great deal of their air is still contaminated and much of their food is still grown in contaminated soil.”

The charity is looking for people to volunteer to look after one of the youngsters for two weeks later in the year.

Exact dates for the visit have yet to be confirmed but in previous years it has typically taken place around mid-July.

The host family would have to feed the child, who would sleep at their home, and take them to events organised by the group.

Mrs Riley said hosting a child is a ‘voluntary kindness’ that can help extend the youngsters’ lives by giving their immune systems time to recover.

She is urgently appealing for host families, who must live within 30 minutes of Preston, where the link is based, to come forward so travel arrangements can be made.

Contact Mrs Riley on 01772 686339 or 07788898328 for more details.