Belarus girls enjoy Mansfield and Ashfield holiday

NMAC11-2091-2'Chernobyl 25th anniversary feature.'Ulia and Aleona who are staying  in Kirkby.
NMAC11-2091-2'Chernobyl 25th anniversary feature.'Ulia and Aleona who are staying in Kirkby.

KIRKBY nurse Nadine Millar has spent four weeks sharing her home with two young girls from Belarus, providing them with new experiences and exciting adventures.

This is the first time that 37-year-old Nadine has volunteered herself as a host within the Mansfield and Ashfield’s link with the Chernobyl’s Children’s Life Line charity.

Nadine said: “Somebody from work has had children staying with her for a couple of years and she was really excited about them coming over and I thought, I wouldn’t mind doing that.”

The charity is marking its 10th year of bringing children from countries affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to England to stay with local families.

It is also 25 years since the disaster itself, when a fire and explosion at the nuclear power plant in the Ukraine led to large quantities of radioactive contamination being leaked into the atmosphere.

And the aftermath continues, with radiation and contaminated food and water still an ongoing problem.

Nadine said: “I wanted to take a few weeks out of my life and be able to give it back to them. I have no children of my own so I have also enjoyed the company.”

A fun-packed events programme is organised during the visit, with the families and children going on trips to London and Center Parcs.

Aleona (11) and Ulia (12), who are staying with Nadine, have enjoyed pampering themselves with clothes shopping and a manicure, which was a gift from the salon that Nadine regularly visits.

During this year’s visit, the Mansfield and Ashfield link was only able to bring 10 children over to stay, and more host families are desperately needed so a greater number of children can be provided with the experience.

Living on her own, Nadine had no hesitation about her first time hosting as the group has been very supportive.

Nadine said: “The only worry that someone thinking of hosting would have is getting the time off work, but there is always somebody to take care of the children if you need to work or just take a break.”

The visits are arranged every six months during February and August and Nadine looks forward to hosting more children in the future.

“It is also enjoyable as it is hands on, you are not just giving money over, you feel like you are really contributing,” she said. “It is hard work and tiring but it is worth it.”

If you are interested in being a host next year contact Elaine Brownley, host families co-ordinator, on Mansfield 462592.