On the march for Chernobyl children

Jamie Salisbury-Jones, Nige Burton, Claire Shuttleworth, David Parkinson and Zoe Ruckledge from Freebird who will be walking all the way from Squires Gate to Fleetwood.
Jamie Salisbury-Jones, Nige Burton, Claire Shuttleworth, David Parkinson and Zoe Ruckledge from Freebird who will be walking all the way from Squires Gate to Fleetwood.

CHILDREN in Chernobyl are set to benefit from a piece of medical equipment that will save their lives.

And it’s all thanks to a Fleetwood charity set up specially to help the babies and children who are still suffering in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster nearly 30 years ago.

Fleetwood web designers from Freebird are set to walk from Starr Gate to Fleetwood ferry to raise £3,000. The charity they are walking for was set up by the company’s directors Nige Burton and Jamie Salsbury-Jones who have seen at first hand the plight of the children in Ukraine and particularly Belarus.

Said Nige: “We set up Chernobylheart.org.uk in 2008 when we were in Gomel in Belarus working. We heard about the Gomel Children’s hospital and paid a visit there.

“There are still children dying in the hospital because their parents, before their children were born, were exposed to radiation from the fallout.

“They are born with congenital heart conditions and unless they are detected early and treated, many become seriously ill and lose their lives. So that is why we wanted to raise some money to buy a piece of equipment which will detect these conditions and provide an early diagnosis.

“It’s a massive piece of equipment and costs 12,000 Euros.

“They have no chance of getting it themselves. The hospital is desperately underfunded and although they’re doing a fantastic job of looking after their many charges, equipment is woefully scarce.”

Along with Nige and Jamie, staff members Claire Shuttleworth, David Parkinson and Zoe Ruckledge will be doing the 11 mile trek. If you would like to sponsor the team call in at the Freebird office in Pharos Street or log on to www.chernobylheart.co.uk.