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Healthy steps for Chernobyl’s children on visit to North Yorkshire

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A Northallerton car dealership is working with a local charity for the eighth year running to help a group of under-privileged children affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster.

Simon Bailes Peugeot has worked with Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC) Northallerton since 2005 to make sure the visits to North Yorkshire are not only fun but also beneficial in the long term.

This year the company has provided the group of 12 nine and ten year olds with a pair of new trainers each which are fitted to ensure that they are the correct size that will hopefully last the children until they return the following year.

The children, from Belarus in Eastern Europe which is still affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, use their new trainers for a variety of sporting activities to help keep them healthy once back home.

This will be this group of children’s final visit to North Yorkshire as part of their three year holiday programme organised by a local branch of the charity FOCC.

The trips are organised to help with each child’s growth and development as research shows that the visits boost immune systems and significantly lower the risk of developing serious diseases later in life, often associated with the after-effects of the Chernobyl disaster.

Simon Bailes Peugeot has been a longstanding community partner of Friends of FOCC, which provides four-week breaks to the region, and has worked with them supplying transport to help the group visit local attractions, as well as providing the trainers for when they return to Belarus.

The children stay with host families in the Northallerton area and visit a variety of local attractions such as Monk Park Farm and Forbidden Corner, experience life in schools in the region and undergo medical check-ups at local healthcare centres.

Suzanne Firth, from Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, said:

“We’ve been organising these visits for more than ten years now and we plan to continue to do so.

“It has been harder during difficult economic times but we won’t give up. Community partners like Simon Bailes Peugeot are vital and we’re really grateful to have their support to help boost the health and well-being of the children which, in the long run, can build up their immune systems in the fight against diseases such as cancer.”

Simon Bailes, managing director of Simon Bailes Peugeot, said:

“Over the years we’ve met some of the most inspiring young people who visit our area from Belarus.

“They take nothing for granted and love every minute of their visits, organised by the wonderful team at Friends of Chernobyl’s Children.

“We’re really pleased to still be involved after eight years and see how the charity is helping to improve the health of the youngsters that get to enjoy our beautiful area.”

Chernobyl 2013
Simon Bailes with the children

 


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