Disco fundraiser will help pay for Belarus children’s visit

Chernobyl children during a visit here two years ago.
Chernobyl children during a visit here two years ago.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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FUNDRAISERS are being asked to get their groove on at a 70s and 80s night in aid of charity.

Organisers of the themed disco at Lee-on-the-Solent Community Centre, on Twyford Drive, are encouraging revellers to dress from the eras and a DJ will play some old favourites from the two decades.

There will also be a raffle in aid of the Lee-on-the-Solent Link of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity.

It was organised by the charity in a desperate bid to raise enough money to bring a group of children from the nuclear-stricken region of the Ukraine and Belarus to the UK for a month.

The national charity, which has branches or ‘links’ throughout Britain, has done this annually for 20 years.

But government changes to visa regulations mean the charity is now struggling to raise enough money to fund the trip.

From March 31 next year the charity will have to shell out £86 for a visa for each child they bring into the country, whereas previously only one was needed per group of children.

Patricia Unwin, chairwoman of the Lee-on-the-Solent Link, said: ‘This means we have to raise about another £1,000 on top of what we already have to.

‘If we don’t get all of that it means we will be able to bring less children over, and that would be such a shame because these children really need this trip.

‘They have nothing in Belarus – some of them are living in what we would call sheds with no running water.

‘They are so desperate to come to the UK. They need something to look forward to and the memories after.

‘But they also need it for health reasons. For most of them it’s the first time they have ever breathed fresh air or eaten fresh food.’

The disco is on Friday November 16 from 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £5 and can be bought from Patricia by calling 07769 948457 or call Anna Curd, the link’s vice chairwoman, on 07989 088070.