Bertrams Brings Joy to Chernobyl Children with Books at Grand Day Out

Wednesday 17th July 2013

The Broadlands Business Park in Norwich, home to book wholesaler Bertrams, played host to a group of twenty children from the Chernobyl area of Belarus.

They were each given children’s books, fruit and vegetables, enjoyed a barbeque and sat in a fire engine!

The group of twelve girls and eight boys, aged between 7 and 10, are staying in the UK for four weeks, and come from schools in the villages of Zditivo, Sporovo and Minsk. The visit was arranged by the Mid Suffolk Link in aid of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, a charity that brings groups of children to the UK for respite holidays. All of these children are living in areas of Belarus still affected by the after-effects of the Chernobyl disaster, which happened more than 26 years ago.

At the park, the children were given a selection of children’s books from Bertrams as well as donations from other businesses within the area.

Graeme Underhill, Bertram Group Managing Director said: “We at Bertrams are really pleased to be involved in helping to make the trip a memorable one for the children, and of course it’s great to see local businesses at Broadlands working together to create an amazing experience for such a worthy cause.”

Jason Cherrington, Bertrams Group Sales Director said: “It was an honour and a very humbling experience to meet such lovely children who clearly have had to endure some of the harshest conditions, yet still remain enthused and excited about life.”

Elizabeth Parker is the Mid Suffolk Link chair of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline. She said: “Although all of the children who come are not ill, they all have compromised immune systems as a result of the environment they live in. It is said that their four week visit here, breathing clean air and eating uncontaminated food, boosts their immune systems to such a degree that it can take two years to get back to the levels they arrive with.”

“Despite many people trying to say that the radiation has gone, the fact is that it hasn't and the levels of radiation found in Belarus are way beyond that which would be tolerated in the Western world today. In the children's cancer hospital in Minsk, we are now seeing second generation children being born with cancer who live in so called ‘clean’ areas.”

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