'Lifeline' trip under threat.
Chernobyl kids could miss out on the trip of a lifetime - because of lack of support on Teesside.
More local families are needed to house children from Belarus who are living with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster.
A trip to Teesside planned for February is already in jeopardy unless people come forward to help.
Chernobyl Children's Life Line, Middlesbrough Teesside Link is run by John and Margaret Cundall who fear they will have to cancel the children's month-long holiday.
The holiday is more of a life-saving exercise for many of the youngsters and is the first time they experience fresh air, water and food.
A total of nine families housed 18 children throughout July this summer. This time it was hoped a similar number of children could travel, but at least another four families are needed.
Mr Cundall said: "February is a bad month for many of the families who took children in last time because their children are at school and many parents are working.
"Ideally we need families to come forward to act as support families, in case of an emergency in one of the care homes, and we are considering families who can take the children for two weeks each."
In April 1986 the Chernobyl power station suffered the world's biggest nuclear accident.
As well as the atrocious death toll, it damaged food and crops worldwide.
Belarus received 70pc of the radioactive fallout and thousands of children are still being born with cancer and leukaemia.
Mr and Mrs Cundall set up the Teesside Link in February. The charity has organised a coffee morning in Nunthorpe Sports Club on Monday from 10am. Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent for the month or in helping raise funds can attend.
"Families who took some of the children during the summer will be at the coffee morning for people to talk to," said Mrs Cundall. "We are afraid if more families do not come forward we will have to cancel the trip."
Mr Cundall added: "The last trip was quite fantastic, for both the children and families involved. We had so much support, it was brilliant."
* For more information, call 01642 274944 or visit www.chernobylchildlifeline.org
To donate to the charity, make cheques payable to Chernobyl Children's Life Line, and post to Middlesbrough Teesside Link, c/o John and Margaret Cundall, 4 Mallowdale, Nunthorpe, Middlesborough, TS7 0QA.
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|Title Annotation:||News Local|
|Publication:||Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)|
|Date:||Nov 27, 2003|
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