This year is the 35th anniversary of the devastating Chernobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986.
It contaminated Belarus and Ukraine, but also affected vast areas of Europe, and these communities are still suffering the ongoing effects.
RED 35 is a campaign run by Barn-Store Alton and The Lavender Fields and aims to highlight that these communities in many ways are suffering more now, 35 years after the disaster – and that the Covid-19 pandemic poses a higher risk to them because of their already-compromised immune systems.
Childhood cancer rates and other medical, social and psychological conditions are far higher here than in unaffected areas.
The dreadful effects of a nuclear disaster go on for many generations, causing misery and suffering alongside the long-term contamination.
RED 35 aims to raise awareness of these ongoing issues and raise the profile of the charity Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline and its wonderful work.
Barn-Store Alton and The Lavender Fields are the self-storage and lavender farm businesses based at Hartley Park Farm near Selborne, Alton.
The farm also runs an arable operation and a business park and one of our tenants is Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL).
This is a local, British charity that helps support the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster by helping the families and children on the ground in Eastern Europe and by also providing respite care for them, funding and hosting breaks for the children here in the UK.
It is run by a small group of very dedicated staff and a huge network of very committed volunteers and is totally dependent on fundraising to survive.
In previous years, we have run charity Easter fun days and The Lavender Fields fundraising open days to help raise money for CCLL and other local charities.
However, with Covid restrictions still limiting event activity this year, we’ve decided to focus on an online and media campaign to continue our support and increase awareness of this charity.
We’ve just launched RED 35 and have donated banners that are being put up locally to remind people – if you see them, give us a beep!
We realise times are very hard at the moment for all, but charities, especially the smaller ones, are really struggling to raise funds to carry out their ongoing activities.
If you can help us raise the profile of this appeal or feel you can support Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCLL) with a donation, it would be very much appreciated.
Barn-Store and The Lavender Fields are going to start the ball rolling with a donation of £300 and we hope your donations can match this – and, with any luck, exceed it!
By Simon Butler,
Nick & Lyndsay Butler and Dennis Vystavkin