HOST families are needed in Redditch, Bromsgrove and Droitwich by Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL) to help children suffering as a result of the devastating Chernobyl disaster in April 1986.

The people of Belarus are suffering more than ever before from the legacy of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

CCLL was formed to help the children of Belarus. There are now around 165 links throughout the UK who raise funds to bring groups of children to the UK for respite care.

There is a network of support for host families – they are not on their own – the children are encouraged to participate in the range of activities organised by CCLL on their behalf.

The children are selected because they have had cancer and are now in remission after treatment, they live in one of the contaminated parts of the country, or they have been evacuated from a heavily contaminated area. Just six per cent of children in Belarus are healthy.

Host Denise Buggins, from Bromsgrove, said: “A decade ago, a friend of mine read a request in a newspaper from a group who were looking for a Belarussian speaking Father Christmas for a party being hosted for children from Belarus.

“He agreed to go along and I went along with him. He had often spoken to me about the effects people had suffered from the disaster and how he sends parcels etc to his family.

“I spoke to the group leader at the party who told me how difficult it is to find host families to commit and by the end of the evening after spending time with the children my mind was made up.

“I have been to Belarus and visited the children and the families and the parents have told me how much healthier the children are after returning from a stay in the UK.

“Most of the children come from loving and hardworking families who have very little but put the children on a long waiting list in the hopes that they will get the recuperation which can add up to two years on their life.”

For more details about how to get involved, call Denise Buggins on 07754963505 or e-mail denise.buggins@talktalk.net.

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