Belarus Aid Lancashire Night


Over the past four or five years, various people including Mark Dowding, Sid Calderbank and John McAlister and the members of Newburgh Ladies Morris Team have given their time to perform at three Lancashire Night concerts at the Stanley Institute or the Royal British Legion in Burscough, Lancashire where all the profits raised have gone to Belarus Aid. The total amounts to a grand sum of £2500.


Newburgh Ladies Morris, Sid Calderbank, John McAlister and Mark Dowding


The reasons for supporting, and raising funds, for the charity are laid out below: 

On April 25th -26th, 1986 the World's worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl in the former USSR (now Ukraine). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion caused a cloud of radioactive dust to blow northwest across Belarus. As a result of the high radiation levels 135,000 people had to be evacuated from the immediate area, which is still uninhabitable and entirely deserted 22 years later. The radiation contaminated the land and air of Belarus and will remain there for thousands of years. Since it is a country whose main industry is farming, this was an enormous social and economic disaster. Contaminated food cannot be exported so people lost jobs, radiation related health problems (e.g. cancer, leukaemia, thyroid illness, birth defects) soared, the country became poor and the economy collapsed.


Many people think that the country has overcome the problems. Unfortunately, this is not the case. More than 2 million people, including hundreds of thousands of children are still living in the contaminated areas of the country. Due to the poor economic situation, poverty is now rife, with people living hand to mouth on what they can grow themselves, most of which is still contaminated with radiation. Hospitals often have an intermittent hot water supply (often as little as two hours a day) and medicines are scarce and expensive. Cleaning materials are largely unavailable and there is no money to repair buildings, so hospitals are often damp as well as cold. In Mir the local ambulance service consists of a horse and cart and an American Second World War army van.

‘Belarus Aid’ is the 14th group under ‘Medicine and Chernobyl’. It is based in West Lancashire and concentrates on helping the disadvantaged of Belarus. Each year since 1994 humanitarian aid has been transported by road in convoys of lorries to Belarus for orphanages and hospitals and in the last few years we have completed four successful Projects. These were the renovation of a residential school / orphanage for disabled children, a children’s hospital, the main hospital in the town of Mir and its annexe which now provides facilities for children and the elderly such as dental treatment, a designated childrens' ward and other diagnostic procedures. The costs of each project are raised entirely through charitable donation and the efforts of a small group of people who give up their time and annual leave and pay their own travel expenses and personal costs (eg food) in order to go to Belarus to undertake these projects.


We are currently planning our fifth renovation project – a return to the Osipovichi Baby Hospital to lay new flooring and repaint walls and murals, etc to brighten up the environment. Whilst much of the required materials are often donated by generous companies such as Planet Windows who have donated windows for all projects so far, we still still need funds to pay the costs of transporting the materials across to Belarus and buying other materials not donated.



More information about ‘Belarus Aid’ and the various projects can be found on  




70% of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl Accident fell on Belarus.


That the affected areas of Belarus will remain contaminated for thousands of years.


That due to the Chernobyl accident, only 10% of the children in Belarus are healthy.


That thyroid cancers, leukaemia, genetic disorders, blood disorders are increasing.


That the main source of income in Belarus (agriculture) no longer exits, due to pollution.


More information about Belarus Aid can be found at