Chernobyl, Blackpool and Spongebob Square Pants

Probably the weirdest blog title that you are likely to ready, but they are connected and it all revolves around the charity Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL)

Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL)

The 26th April in 1986, is a date etched in history and a date which the people of Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to forget in living memory. This was the date in which No. 4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the now-abandoned town of Pripyat, exploded and graphite inferno which lasted for 10 days resulted very large amounts of radioactive matter being spread across almost all of Europe.

The highest contamination levels were in the two countries nearest the nuclear plant, Belarus  and Ukraine.

It was this tragedy that CCLL was founded by Victor Mizzi OBE in 1992 and has to date brought over 45,000 children to the UK for respite and recuperation holidays as well as supporting and funding numerous welfare projects in Belarus and Ukraine.

Now imagine winning the lottery and being able to do things and see things which you never thought you could possibly do or see – the 4 weeks which these children in the UK, to them, it is like winning the lottery.

So this not so well know charity certainly does make a difference!

Days Out

As part of the programme different days are planned for this 4 weeks, such as trips to Knowsley Safari park, trips out to the beach at West Kirby and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Now over the past couple of years the trips to Blackpool have been a game of roulette in terms of the weather but this year the weather was absolutely perfect – not that it has made too much difference over the past years to the enjoyment of the day.

All of the children gather in reception, get their wrist bands and then enter their day of fun.

They started on the softer rides such as the planes flying around in the sky, but then they move onto Val Hammer. Now if you are not aware of Val Hammer it is one of the wettest rides at Blackpool and the children got drenched!!

Luckily it was warm for us all to dry out!!

The day is then in full swing and they are going on different rides and have permanent smiles on their faces. This is what is means to them, I know some who are reading this may have wondered why Blackpool!?! But to these children it is the best day out.

They laugh, they run around onto different rides, some again and again, they eat doughnuts and chips and enjoy their day and by the time the bus comes to take them back to their respective host families on the Wirral, they are well and truly exhausted – but happy.

CCLL – Wirral Link

My mum plays a role in organising the CCLL Wirral Link and it does take time, effort, large amount of fundraising the generosity of countless people throughout the year to ensure that these children have this time.

It is only the end of week 1 of the trip with 3 more action packed weeks to go before they go home.

More information around the charity can be found at – Wirral CCLL

CCLL’s work is focused on four core activities:

Raising – the funds to bring over 3,000 children to the UK each year for four weeks of fresh air, uncontaminated food, fun, love and attention as well as dental and eye check ups.

Providing – a basic income (when there is no state support) so that over 1,000 needy families can buy clean food.

Building – a laundry that also provides a regular supply of hot water for showers, and has become the focal point of the community.

Funding – respite camps in Belarus for the children (and their families) who are too ill to travel. These facilities also have specialist medical resources and nursing.

So Imagine –

  • Living the rest of your life in a radioactive polluted environment. There is no escape. Money cannot buy protection.
  • Eating food that may harm you, but what else can you do?
  • Coming to the UK and eating fresh food and breathing fresh air and going home with your immune system recharged.
  • Knowing that there are people that DO care

This is why the people so close to the charity continue to do what they do!

So why Sponge Bob Square Pants?

Well I got to meet him, which made my day!!