Chernobyl Children enjoy final days of Hucknall hospitality

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Thirteen host families, who have welcomed young children from Belarus into their homes for a four week stay as part of the Hucknall Friends of Chernobyl’s Children initiative have been described as “ Guardian Angels.”

Belarus teaching colleagues Olya Gorelova and Maryna Topunova, who accompanied the party of 7 and 8 year-olds on their first visit to England, heaped praise on the “wonderful human beings who have brought sunshine into the lives of the children.”

More than 100 people attended a leaving party at Hucknall’s British Legion HQ and the Belarus visitors bowed out in style by staging an all dancing all singing finale that received rapturous applause.

During an eventful stay in Hucknall, the excited children have been educated at Hucknall Junior School, have visited local doctors, dentists and opticians,and enjoyed a variety of fun activities including swimming.

Olya Gorelova said:“Hucknall is my second home. The Friendship, love and hospitality has been simply wonderful.”

Her colleague Maryna, who is making her first visit to England was equally generous with her praise.

“The love, kindness ,generosity and organisation has really impressed me,” she said.

There were tears of joy and sadness as the special guests armed with gifts, clothing and money, bid a fond farewell to their hosts.

Hucknall Friends’ Fund-raiser Kim Challand paid tribute to everyone who has played a part in giving the “Chernobyl Children” the time of their lives with a holiday to remember.

She said: “We will welcome them back with open arms next year and god-willing more people will consider joining our ranks to help such a lovely cause.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Hucknall Friends group with an interest in being a host family, should contact Kim on 0115-9680247.