A GROUP of children were recently welcomed to the area by the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent Lions Club.
The youngsters, from the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline group, came from Borodyanka in Ukraine and very much enjoyed their visit to the UK.
Gosport hairdresser Ian Chase was one of the organisers of the trip.
He approached David Andrews, the president of the Lions Club, to help organise the activities.
The fun day out consisted of visits to the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Marwell Zoo, and even a Year 7 school disco.
David, who is also a volunteer on the Mid-Hants Railways, sorted out a steam train journey as well.
The children were able to ride along the Watercress Line, visit the train cab and stop to have a look at an old signal box.
David said: ‘We looked at how the Lions could be of assistance and realised we had a ready-made opportunity, so we seized it.’
The organisers made sure there was a translator present so the children could communicate with everyone involved.
Jo Cullimore, Ukrainian guardian for the children, thanked everyone involved for making the trip possible, and spoke of how kind everyone had been.
She said the children really enjoyed the day.
When asked what they liked most about their visit to the UK, they said: ‘Everything!’
Speaking about how the day had influenced the Lions Club, David added: ‘It was an eye opener for us to realise just how difficult it still is in Borodyanka, the area where the children come from – considering the nuclear accident was 30 years ago.
‘We hope we can help the organisation again next year and we must also thank the railway for their generous support.’
For more information, visit e-clubhouse.org/sites/gosportlee.
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