Help give sick kids a happy experience

The children from Ukraine enjoyed some fun activities during their time in Morpeth.
The children from Ukraine enjoyed some fun activities during their time in Morpeth.

AN initiative which supports needy children from abroad is asking Morpeth families for help.

Each year, a group of children from Belarus or Ukraine come over to the town and spent a month enjoying locally-based fun activities and trips to popular shops and attractions in Northumberland and Tyneside.

They are all diagnosed with immune-system problems associated with the nuclear disaster of 1986 in the Chernobyl region of the Ukraine and so they greatly benefit from the clean air and good food.

In addition, they are also given a ‘health M.O.T.’ involving visits to local doctors, dentists and opticians, as these facilities are rarely available in their country.

Lilian and Jerry Nelson’s involvement goes back 12 years to when they were volunteers for a sister link in Lancashire. On moving to Morpeth in 2007, they helped to establish the Morpeth and Wansbeck Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Link and today they are chair and honorary treasurer respectively.

This week they launched their appeal for people in the link area to help out during the proposed 2014 visit, which takes place from June 2 to 30.

Mrs Nelson said: “Funding is in place to make the next visit successful, however assistance is required from local people. Those who volunteer can host two children for two or four weeks, providing a bedroom, food and undergoing a CRB check, support host families by giving them a break or stepping in to care for the children, if required, or donate/collect good quality second-hand clothing suitable for boys and girls aged between nine and 12.

“For more information, call me on 01670 518773.”