Lancaster and Morecambe fundraisers will help children of Chernobyl

Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.
Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.

Fundraising events have been organised in a bid to raise money to help children affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

The Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (Lancaster) brings a group of children from Belarus to stay in the city for a month every year, to help boost their immune systems and give them clothing, dental and eye checks and days out around the district.

Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.

Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.

The scheme is now into its second group of children who undertake five years of the month-long stays.

There are currently 14 children from Belarus on the Lancaster programme, who come over during June.

But while the charity has host families and good community support in Lancaster for the visit, it still needs to raise around £12,000 per year to cover flights, visa, transport and general running costs. All work is done voluntarily.

To this end, two fundraising events have so far been arranged for this year.

Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.

Children from Belarus visiting Lancaster and Morecambe as part of the Friends of Chernobyl Children programme.

A yogathon is taking place at the Holiday Inn (Halton Suite) in Caton Road in Lancaster in cooperation with the Spirit Health Club on Sunday January 29.

There will be four sessions starting at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm, led by four local yoga teachers. All money raised will go to the charity.

The event is suitable for beginners and new for this year is a story-based yoga session for children of primary school age, which starts at 2pm.

Minimum donation is £5 and £1 for children. For more information or to book, call 01524 67751 or just turn up on the day.

Secondly, on Saturday May 6 is a Cross Bay Walk, led by Cedric Robinson.

Adults cost £12 and children are free but must be accompanied and closely supervised.

More details about the walk and how to book are on the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Lancaster Facebook page.

FOCC bring needy children from areas of Belarus still contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 to the UK.

Nationally FOCC brings around 500 children from the age of seven across to the UK for recuperative holidays.

Each child comes for up to five years, for four weeks per year.

The children are looked after by local host families who voluntarily provide a month of love and care for these children, which makes a huge difference to their lives.

For more information about the charity, go to www.focc.org.uk.

To help or support the charity in any way contact Lancaster group coordinator Mike Cowan at mikehcowan@hotmail.com or on 01524 67751.

Mike is now also the voluntary director of the National FOCC GB Charity and will give talks to groups and schools.

He said: “Friends of Chernobyl’s Children is a hands-on charity which really benefits needy children from contaminated areas of Belarus.

“It is a privilege to work with these children and see them develop over the five years they are on the programme.”

Donations can be made to https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/friendsofchernobylschildrenlancaster