The University of Cumbria were delighted to host a special afternoon of fun games and activities for the ‘Children of Chernobyl’ at their Lancaster Campus.
The ‘Friends of Chernobyl’s Children – Restoring Hope charity (FOCC)’ approached the university earlier in the year about becoming involved with a visit by a group of children from Belarus, who come annually for a recuperative holiday in Lancaster.
The day started with lunch in The Gateway, the children then moved on to games in the Sports Hall and craft activities in the Education Arts room. They all had great fun playing the parachute game, reaching personal bests at skipping rope jumping, designing their own kites and puppets, not forgetting a tense ‘Pass the parcel’ game and yummy self-decorated biscuits.
The children then went away with a University of Cumbria ‘goodie’ bag and new friends amongst our staff, student and intern volunteers.
The event was planned and delivered by of our Cumbria mentors; Abbey Joyce and Ann Yang, Graduate Interns; Hannah Kendal and Chloe Hilton, with a number of Widening Participation advisers, who together all worked hard to make the event a massive success.
The fourteen children who took part in the afternoon’s fun are from disadvantaged families from the contaminated areas of Belarus affected by the radiation fallout of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Each child visits for a month each year on a five-year programme, ideally from the age of 7 until they are 12. The same children will return to hosting families in Lancaster each year to complete 5 years of FOCC care and respite from the poor conditions in which they live.
Nadine Sunderland, Academic Services and Retention Manager at the University of Cumbria said “We were honoured to be involved with this amazing project. All who took part in the event felt very privileged to have to have met the children and to have been able to contribute a very small part to this year’s programme. We are looking forward to working with FOCC on next year’s visit”.
Mike Cowan, FOCC Lancaster Group Coordinator, congratulated the university on putting on a great programme of activities for the children and invited the university to become involved with next year’s visit and activities.