Two Sunday ago Paul Campey returned from Belarus having delivered over 12 tonnes of aid to the town of Gomel in the east of the country and just 30 miles from the border with Mother Russia. Using a unit from his own company, Campeys of Selby, to tow our trailer Paul was able to bring a ‘back load’ from Poland for delivery into Manchester so our return costs to the UK were much reduced.
The Gomel Regional Education Department responsible for many schools, institutions and activity centres in the Gomel region received almost 10 tonnes of aid. The balance of the load went to the Gomel Diabetic Association and was provided by our team based at the home of Barbara and David Cox at Nab End Farm at Longnor near Buxton in Derbyshire. The Diabetic Association has over 1000 children and adults all who directly benefit from the deliveries.
The aid delivered to the education department is to be used to equip activity centres currently hosting children from ‘socially dangerous situations’ and to equip a new centre south of the city towards the border with Ukraine.
The director of the Education Department emailed this comment to me last week: “Thank you very much for your help, the 06/23/2015. Wonderful IKEA furniture and utensils needed for Teryuha camps and schools. Pampers – a great help to people with disabilities at the Centre Brilevo. Paint and carpet need to prepare schools for the new school year in September. Pillows are very good for kindergartens and camps. Many thanks to your team. Greetings from Helena Erokhina.”
Large quantities of the aid was generously donated by IKEA, we had a large quantity of super trade paint from Whittles the Nottingham specialist decorators. Steve Fox of Stockton on Tees provided carpet tiles and the soap powder and our Knit and Natter groups from several areas produced many super items of clothing and bedding that was much appreciated. To all our providers of aid, our fund raisers and generous donators we are very grateful and pass on the thanks of the people in Belarus.
The end of June was the end of our fiscal year – yes our new charity Chernobyl Aid UK is one year old. During the year we have made aid deliveries in November 2014 to the Education department in Gomel Then in April to Lida in the North West Belarus to a children’s cancer charity, to Rogachev Association for disabled children, to Vikov an institution for mentally and physically handicapped young adults and the White Dove charity in Gomel. Then the just completed delivery to the Ed Department and the Diabetic Association in Gomel. A great start following on from our record of the previous 15 years as the aid team for CCP UK and many previous deliveries.
As an independent charity we have had to register with the Charities Commission, the tax people (HMRC), open our bank account, appoint Trustees and treasurer and of course raise our own funds. During this period Alan Judd acted as treasurer and guided us through the many and varied procedures. Alan continues as an active member but has relinquished his position as treasurer and Alan Miles has now filled that role.
We now have to prepare our accounts for the financial year and I am happy to inform all that we have acquired the services of qualified accountant Barry Wilkinson who has kindly accepted the job and shortly we will publish our first annual accounts and report.
It has been a really successful year and not without its challenges. The coming year promises already to be just as formidable but with the support of our sponsors, suppliers of aid and our hard working team of volunteers who raise funds, donate and load our vehicles we will be well up to the job.
The changes and improvement to life in Belarus in recent years is very evident for some but for many who are sick, disabled and living in poverty things are just as difficult. They are so grateful for our help and we should and will continue to support them.
Mike Allison. July 2015