Trip to provide aid to people of Chernobyl which was decimated by nuclear explosion under threat after fire

13:33 11 February 2014

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl affected by fire. Pauline and John Rotman. Picture: Steve Williams.

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl affected by fire. Pauline and John Rotman. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A trip to Chernobyl to deliver gifts to orphans is under threat after a fire.

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Picture: Steve Williams.Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Picture: Steve Williams.

Councillor Paul Clapp, of Wisbech, had hoped to join his friend John Rotman, co-founder of Lifeline 4 Chernobyl, on a trip to deliver aid to Ukraine in April.

But the 3,000 mile round trip is in doubt after a fire at Mr Rotman’s house at Salters Lode, Downham Market, last Thursday destroyed the caravan him and his wife Pauline used as an office and damaged their lorry.

Seven years of paperwork and photographs went up in flames and all the equipment inside the caravan has been ruined.

The extent of the damage to the 11 tonnes of aid which was inside the lorry is unknown.

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Picture: Steve Williams.Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Picture: Steve Williams.

The Rotmans are desperate for a caravan to use as an office and for a structural expert to inspect the lorry to make sure it in a suitable condition to make the trip to Chernobyl.

If the trailer is too damaged to take to Chernobyl, they will need to borrow a replacement one to transport the aid.

Cllr Clapp said: “We are planning to take out stuff for the orphans there. They need help but they are not getting it from their Government.

“We intend to take out blankets, clothes, shoes, bedding, towels and garden tools.

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire.  John and Pauline Rotman. Picture: Steve williams.Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. John and Pauline Rotman. Picture: Steve williams.

“John has been out there many times. He has even brought children back here on holiday to give them some respite.

“As soon as the men go to work in Chernobyl they are contaminated. Their life expectancy is six years. They are basically committing suicide.

“Only by physically taking the stuff there can we make sure it gets to the people who need it.”

Mr Rotman and his wife Pauline founded Lifeline 4 Chernobyl in 2007.

Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Remains of the caravan office. Picture: Steve Williams.Charity sending stuff to Chernobyl but now affected by fire. Remains of the caravan office. Picture: Steve Williams.

The pair have made five trips to the impoverished area which was decimated by a explosion at a nuclear power plant on April 26 1986.

Mrs Rotman said: “We were involved in another charity and it was the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster so John decided we should send a trailer of aid out there to mark the occasion.

“John went out there on the convoy and when he came back he told me we could not stop there.

“We’ve been out there five times now. It makes a real difference because the people out there don’t have a national health service or other support.”

If you can help by providing a caravan, office equipment, a replacement trailer or in any other way, call John or Pauline on 01366 324496

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 10:51
Limes close Littleport. Picture: Steve Williams.

Former East Cambs Council leader Fred Brown, now a Littleport parish councillor, has refuted claims he did anything wrong in acquiring the lease on a piece of land from Sanctuary Housing Association.

Yesterday, 10:59
Celebrity Masterchef Winner Kimberly Wyatt helped Daniel Baynham improve his barbecue skills and throw him a surprise barbecue party.

Former Pussycat Doll and Celebrity Masterchef champion Kimberly Wyatt sprung a surprise on an Ely family when she turned up at their home to hold a crash course in barbecuing.

Yesterday, 15:54
Littleport Leisure Centre Roller Skating Sessions, (l-r) Beth, and Charlotte, from Ely Roller Skating Club,

Around 30 children put their skates on for the penultimate fun activity of the school holidays at Littleport Leisure Centre.

Yesterday, 14:16
Dave Johnson of Wilburton based Team Quella.

A Wilburton cycle manufacturer made a clean sweep of the awards at a prestigious national race series.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition today E-edition