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Caring Glossop couple taking back seat from Chernobyl charity
Wednesday 30th November 2016 @ 10:08 by Adam Higgins
Community Glossop Chronicle News

A caring couple who packed and then drove aid ambulances to the radiation fields of Chernobyl are taking things a little easier.

After 20 years of helping cancer hit children still suffering the effects of the nuclear power plant explosion in 1986, Mags and Ken Whiting are sort of standing down.

They are taking a back seat with the Chernobyl Children’s Project – the national charity based in Glossop they helped to launch.

But you know the pair of 80-something-year-olds will still be rushing to help when needed.

Ken joked: “Old age is knocking on the door now – we need to pass on the reins to younger hands.”

Seeing the suffering first hand in the Gomel region of Belarus affected Mags two decades ago.

She recalled: “From the first time we drove an ambulance to Belarus in 1995 and met so many victims of the Chernobyl explosion we were determined to do all we could to help.

“It has been wonderful to work with so many hard working group members and benefactors over the years.”

Driving the aid-laden ambulance on six occasion wasn’t the only slice of humanitarian support the Chisworth couple supplied.

They also took on the job of co-ordinating the visits of Belarusian children to Glossopdale.

Since then, nearly 200 children have stayed with families, many of them young children in remission from cancer.

Mags and Ken have hosted many mothers and children themselves, as well as supporting other families, organising activities for the visiting Belarusians and planning fund-raising events.

Chernobyl Children’s Project executive director Linda Walker, who lives in Glossop, said: “They have both played a vital role in developing and supporting Chernobyl Children’s Project.

“No-one could have shown greater dedication to improving the lives of children affected by the Chernobyl disaster and they still play a key role on our management team.”

 

By David Jones