Chernobyl kids charity funding crisis

Manager of Conlons in Morecambe, Malcolm Heyes with children and interpreters from the Friends of Chernobyl Children South Lakes and co-ordinator Denise Bennett. The children were treated to free eye tests.
Manager of Conlons in Morecambe, Malcolm Heyes with children and interpreters from the Friends of Chernobyl Children South Lakes and co-ordinator Denise Bennett. The children were treated to free eye tests.

A local charity’s best efforts to make life more bearable for youngsters growing up in the shadow of Chernobyl have been threatened by government proposals.

The South Lakes branch of Friends of Chernobyl Children that provides four week respite holidays for children still suffering from the effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster, fears for the future of some of the girls and boys they support if new visa fees are introduced by our own government.

Local business owners Denise Bennett, group co-oordinator for the South Lakes branch and her partner David Riley, who is chairman, fear that the charity could be forced to reduce the number of children it is able to help each year unless the plans are thrown out of Parliament in the New Year.

She said “This is devastating news for us because if these proposals go ahead, we will have to find an additional £1,032.00 each year which will place a very heavy burden on our small, self-supporting charity.

“We receive no statutory funding of any kind and I am concerned that we could be forced to reduce the number of children we assist”.

Denise urged people to voice their opposition by signing a nationwide online petition which needs 100,000 signabefore January 2013.

To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/37945