The Chernobyl Children’s Project (Endon and Stoke Group) has been inviting groups of children in remission of cancer to the UK for recuperative holidays since 1996. The group was formed more than 20 years ago and has hosted well over 500 children during this period.
The consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster are unfortunately still very real, the contamination will continue to affect the population for years to come, and this results in higher than normal incidences of cancer, serious illnesses and deformities among children that were born long afterwards. A recuperative holiday in the UK gives the children a much needed boost to their damaged immune systems for up to two years. The children are hosted by local families and the Endon group organises activities for the children (and host parents) and also gives support to the host families.
Last year The Chernobyl Children’s Project (Endon and Stoke Group) hosted four young children (in remission) and their mums, who were also in great need of a break, in the Spring for three weeks. In August we hosted 16 teenagers (also in remission) for four weeks.
IN ORDER TO ALLOW US TO INVITE A GROUP OF MOTHERS AND YOUNG CHILDREN, WE ARE LOOKING FOR A FEW MORE FAMILIES WHO WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME ONE MUM AND ONE YOUNG CHILD FOR IN THEIR HOME 10 DAYS BETWEEN 27th MAY AND 17th JUNE FOR TEN DAYS.
The groups spend the first half of their recuperative holiday with one family and then move on to a second family. The group is accompanied by an interpreter who is available around the clock to support the families and children. It is incredibly rewarding to get to know the children better and see how they blossom during the period that they spend in the UK, in an uncontaminated environment, eating healthy food and doing fun things.
What makes a good host family? Our host families are drawn from a wide back ground: families with children, retired couples, who have a spare room available. The most important requirement to host is to be able to give the guests a warm welcome, be interested and have an enthusiasm to make the holiday an unforgettable experience for our guests. The activities are a variety of group ones and other days you have the opportunity to do with your guests what suits you and them, this could be a trip to the play ground, a walk along the canals etc.. There is no need to speak Russian because the interpretor is available during all the group outings and if you need her, she is only a phone call away. You would be surprised how much you can communicate through mime!
Even if you cannot host but would like to be involved in giving these kids and mums a great time, please contact us because we need people to help with raising funds or organising activities and outings. Of course, if you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass the message on and we would be happy to meet up and explain what is involved.
Just to illustrate how much the involvement of CCP Endon and Stoke Group meant to some of our guests, in this case mothers and young children, who were hosted in Spring 2016 :
‘WE WERE SO CORDIALLY WELCOMED AFTER THE ARRIVAL, WE UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE LIKE ONE BIG FAMILY, THEY ARE READY TO HELP NOT ONLY THEIR OWN RELATIVES AND FRIENDS BUT PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY. WE LOVED ALL THE TRIPS AND OUTINGS. STAS LOVED ALL THE PLAYGROUNDS. IN MY OPINION EVERYTHING WAS SUPER.’
(Liudmilla and son Stas)
“WE ENJOYED LIVING WITH OUR FAMILIES. IT WAS INTERESTING TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR WAY OF LIFE, TO MEET THE MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES. WE COULD SEE THAT EVERYBODY WAS INTERESTED IN US AND WANTED TO MAKE OUR VISIT USEFUL AND MEMORABLE. I WAS CONVINCED AGAIN THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF KIND PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO ARE READY TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE WHO FOUND THEMSELVES IN DIFFICULT LIFE SITUATION. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US REALISE THAT LIFE GOES ON (after illness), FOR TEACHING US TO LIVE ON AND NOT TO LOOK BACK.”
(Svetlana and Artsiom)
“WE WERE SORRY TO SAY GOODBYE, BECAUSE THEY (the families) HAVE BECOME VERY DEAR TO US – LIKE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS.”
Vera and daughter Lilia
If you are interested, please come along to our next meeting which will be held on WEDNESDAY 8th FEBRUARY 2017 at Endon Methodist Church at 7.30pm where you can hear more about hosting and what the Chernobyl Children’s Project entails (without any commitment!). Please contact Julie or John Gater, coordinators of the Endon Group since 1996, who will be able to give you more details about this information meeting.
Their contact details are:
Tel.: 01782 535000 or 07 816 842 322