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Gloucestershire churches welcome children from Chernobyl

 Catholic parishioners in Gloucestershire are helping children from the radiation-contaminated region around Chernobyl, come to the West Country for fresh air and recuperation. A group of 400 youngsters are currently staying with families taking part in the Chernobyl Children's Project. The fresh air and uncontaminated food boosts the children's immune systems, which have been damaged by radiation. Events and outings include hill walking, rock climbing, swimming and a visit to a theme park. The month of high activity (and exhaustion!) was achieved by donations and sponsorship of local organisations, individuals and churches. Chernobyl Children's Project was especially grateful for the considerable donations of fruit, juices and finance from local churches like Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Churchdown. Donations were co-ordinated through Gloucestershire's active Churches Together ecumenical organisation "Consumption of fresh fruit by our guests is always gargantuan. The financial burden would be prohibitive for the host families, without such kind generosity." said Martin Marcus of Chernobyl Children's Project. Martin added: "The Chernobyl Children's Project brings different Belarusian children on each visit in order to promote the health of as many children as possible. Children who have had cancer already are offered two or three repeated holidays, as this helps protect them from relapse. The Cheltenham and Gloucester branch always need new host families, and are grateful for donations each year to help with the running costs of the holiday." For more information visit: www.chernobyl-children.org.uk