Wirral Met College has supported the Chernobyl Children Lifeline programme for a number of years. It was set up to support children (and their families) from Belarus and Ukraine that were affected by the nuclear disaster in 1986. An annual trip to the UK is organised by Wirral Link, whereby the children stay with Wirral host families for a month every year in a bid to boost their health.
The children are invited to Wirral Met College for a day of pampering and activities delivered by the Hair and Beauty and Sport, Fitness and Outdoor Education staff and students. Hair and beauty tutor Joyce Tyrer has played a key role in facilitating the pamper days by arranging student volunteers to come in and treat the children to a day of manicures, facials, makeup and hair treatment (with spiral curls galore!). The hair and beauty students also benefit from the experience, by putting their skills gained at college to use for such a rewarding and worthy cause. The students go the extra mile by using translation apps on their phones to communicate with the children who speak little or no English.
Joyce said: “I feel so proud of our students. The Chernobyl children gave them a huge group thank you in Russian at the end of the day and our students beam from the experience, it is heart-warming to feel their connection and comfort with us.”
As a thank you for the day, the children created a Chernobyl Bird of Peace out of fabric as a token of their appreciation for the hospitality and generosity.
Level 3 Sport and Exercise students at the Oval Campus, provided games for the children as part of their instructing physical activity unit. The students created fitness sessions and fun activities to accommodate the abilities and age ranges of all the children. The students even learnt basic phrases in Russian so that they could talk to the children and make them feel at ease.
Maria Meagher, public services and sport tutor said: “Both our students and the Chernobyl children loved working together and built a great bond proving that speaking a different language is not a barrier. We look forward to the children coming every year and the students are full of enthusiasm and can’t wait to deliver the sessions again.”
As well as providing pamper days and fun activities for the children, our students have also helped raise money to buy clothing and essentials for the children to take home with them.
A big thank you to trainee assessor Jacqueline Pettifor for her amazing work helping coordinate this with Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.
To find out more Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline visit www.ccll.org.uk/ho/