TWO local charities collaborated to create a music-making day for 17 children from the Ukraine affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.

The workshop with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra was part of a fourweek calendar of activities organised by Wessex Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL) as part of a recuperative break for the children from Korosten, a town only 12 miles outside the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

John Martindale, chairman of Wessex CCLL, explained the benefits this brings.

“We do this work as it improves the children’s life expectancy.” he said.

“The four weeks away from home is enough to allow for their vital organs to rid themselves of the toxins from the radiation they are exposed to and increases their life expectancy by up to five years.

“The Wessex branch of CCLL has hosted over 100 children since 2007 for recuperative care at a cost of about £500 per child which has to be fundraised to make it possible.”

Andy Baker, BSO community musician, added: ‘The BSO has been collaborating with the Wessex Link branch of CCLL for the past three years. We have worked with over 50 children who have been affected by the Chernobyl disaster holding inspirational music-making days and inviting them to experience our schools concert held at the Lighthouse, Poole. The CCLL project offers every year another generation of children from either the Ukraine or Belarus the opportunity to experience the benefits of this project that helps to extend children’s life expectancy.

Since the CCLL national charity was founded in 1991 over 46,000 child victims of the Chernobyl disaster have been brought to stay in the UK.