FOR almost a decade Marian Stapley has been giving children a taste of life in the pure fresh air.
The 47-year-old from Paulsgrove is the chairman of the Portsmouth and Hayling Island Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.
And for her tireless voluntary work she was given The News Woman of the Year Award in the Community, Charity and Voluntary category.
In her role she arranges for a large group of children to come over to the area every summer from Ukraine and Belarus. Almost 30 years on children still suffer from the fall-out of the nuclear disaster.
Many people in the region end up getting cancer.
Marian works tirelessly to find host families for them to stay with over the summer and organises not only fantastic trips for them but vital appointments with dentists, doctors and opticians to ensure they have a complete health check before they go back to Ukraine and Belarus.
She was nominated by her friend Sue Wise for the award which she collected at the awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Cosham, a week ago.
Sue said: ‘Marian puts her heart and soul into the month the children are there.
‘She is determined the children will have an enjoyable and happy time. Hosting is costly to her in terms of money and emotion but she puts tremendous love and energy into her hosting.’
Marian said: ‘I’m so touched. At the end of the day I’m a mere mum who cares about her own children and other children. To do this you have to care from the bottom of your heart.’
The winner in the Young Woman of the Year was Darcey Phenna who gave up university in London to open her own tea rooms in Alverstoke, Gosport.
The 19-year-old said: ‘It’s the culmination of so much hard work and I could not have done it without the support of my parents.
‘Not many people would let their daughter give up university to open tea rooms.’