Ripley's Planet Happy is a Hit with the Chernobyl Children
27th July 2012
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Last weekend the group of Belarussian youngsters who are staying in the UK as part of the Chernobyl Childrens Life Line were treated to a special party at Ripley's very own Planet Happy.

The party was laid on totally free of charge by Planet Happy's very generous owner, Vanessa Thompson, who is a huge supporter of the Charity's work.

Children arrived with their host families, and quickly set off onto the play-frame or into the crafty corner. It was great to see the British youngsters and their families and friends mingling freely with the Belarussian children, showing that language and culture are no barrier when you're all in it to enjoy yourselves and have fun.

We had a quick chat with the two translators that have travelled with the group, Juliya and Marsha who explained;
"The children absolutely love this place - we don't have anything like it in Belarus.  Even if we did, life is so expensive over there, a trip to a place like this, or any of the other places we've visited since we've been here could only happen maybe once per year. "

The children have already had a busy time since they arrived a fortnight ago.  All have been to the dentist and the optician for check ups; everyone had something to be done by the dentist, and two children even had to have extractions. The opticians passed with fewer issues, but there is one brand new pair of glasses on order.

We'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Holt House Dentists in Matlock, West House Dentists in Belper and Elliot and Heath Opticians in Chesterfield, all of whom have donated their time and services completely free!

Whilst basic annual checks are available through schools in Belarus, often underlying issues are missed or overlooked.  One boy we heard about was really struggling at school and wasn't learning as fast as his classmates until he came to Derbyshire.  After visiting one of our local opticians, he was given the right pair of glasses meaning he could finally see his teacher and read his books.  He has now started college and has a bright future ahead of him.

Last week the children went on a fantastic trip to the Mablethorpe sea side and Denby Pottery.  Next week its the Social Night and Disco and ten pin bowling at the Genesis Centre in Alfreton.  We're lucky enough to have been invited to the Social night, so we look forward to bringing you lots of photos of the fun through next week.

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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