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GJW Direct 2020

Marconi Sailing Club host twelve special youngsters from Ukraine

by Chris Kirby 8 Jul 2016 17:49 BST 5 July 2016
Marconi SC host 12 special youngsters from Ukraine © Alan Caulfield / MSC

As in the previous two years, MSC once again played host on Tuesday 5th July to twelve special youngsters from Ukraine, giving them an unforgettable lifetime experience, which for most of them was their first time on the sea. The children: six boys and six girls aged between 8 and 13, are on a one-month recuperative holiday organised by the South Essex branch of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity. They have all grown up near the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where local communities continue to be affected by health problems thirty years after the nuclear disaster. The children visiting are being treated at home for a range of health issues, and their time in England enables them to enjoy uncontaminated food and fresh air, whilst experiencing wonderful activities thanks to the generosity of organisations such as Marconi Sailing Club.

Our young cadets (and slightly older volunteers) did a fantastic job of entertaining their visitors with a warm welcome which was reflected in the gradually emerging sunshine. The day started with a trip up the river on Top Cat, Jack B and the RIBs past Mundon Point to hang out with curious seals popping up for a peek at these young visitors from afar, and everyone enjoyed an exciting ride back for lunch... all against the backdrop of the beautiful Essex coastal landscape so utterly different from their home hundreds of miles from the coast in Ukraine. Not all could be persuaded to taste the salty water! The afternoon was spent in exciting sailing conditions in the club's smaller dinghies, all the children were soaked but the big grins remained and they even tried their hand at crabbing.

The youngsters, still excited by their adventure on the high seas, then treated the Marconi volunteers to a lovely rendition of a Ukrainian folk song as a thank you. They will go home refreshed, healthier, and with memories to last a lifetime.

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