Children from Chernobyl charity visit RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station
Youngsters from Belarus toured RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station on Thursday 13 June, on a visit organised by Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL) and Morrisons. Part of a day of entertainment, 15 children from nine to 12 years, spent around an hour learning about the lifesaving charity’s work.
Following a face-painting session at Morrisons New Brighton, the children – who are all affected by cancer in some way – toured the RNLI lifeboat station, where volunteer crew took the group through the workings of the lifeboat and tractor, as well as giving them an up-close look at drysuits, lifejackets and helmets.
RNLI Helm Jay Hennessey said: ‘As a lifeboat station we’re always enthusiastic about hosting parties of children on visits, but this one touched us all.
'With so many of us parents ourselves, from lifeboat crew to shop volunteers we couldn’t do enough for them. The boys and girls all seemed to enjoy their time with us whether at the lifeboat, tractor or trying on our crew kit. That makes it special for us too.’
Individual donations by the RNLI volunteers saw the children leave with mementos of their time at the boathouse.
Lifeboat crew presented each child with a polo shirt and a fleece embroidered with the RNLI New Brighton logo and a representation of its inshore lifeboat, while the shop volunteers contributed an RNLI cap and wind-up torch, as well as a goody bag that included stationery items, badges and stickers.
Around 12 members of the school choir from Seacombe's Riverside Primary, who sang for everyone at the RNLI boathouse, also went home with a goody bag courtesy of RNLI shop volunteers and Morrisons.
CCLL states that land-locked Belarus was the republic most affected by the April 1986 incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, with more than 70% of the republic affected by the radioactive fallout. As a result, thousands are born each year – or go on to develop – thyroid cancer, bone cancer and leukaemia. For more information on CCLL visit www.ccll.org.uk/ho/.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.