A CHARITY art exhibition and craft sale will take place later this month in Kinver to help the continuing work of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.

The voluntary organisation has been bringing youngsters from Belarus to the UK for the last 25 years to help give them a month of respite from their radiation-hit homeland which still suffers from the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Ann Becke, from the Kinver based charity, said: "The people of Chernobyl were exposed to radioactivity 90 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. According to the UN, there is still a real threat to the gene pool of Belarus with second generation children even more likely to suffer side effects.

"It is currently estimated that it will take up to 400 years to rid Belarus of the bulk of the contamination but some areas will remain contaminated for up to 24,000 years.

"For the children brought to the UK we hope that a rest from the relentless bombardment of radiation, which affects every part of the Belarusian food chain, will boost their damaged immune systems."

This year the group is hoping to bring over an additional two youngsters so the organisation needs to raise extra funds.

To help pull in the pounds a charity art exhibition and craft sale will be held at St Peter's Church Hall, Kinver, on Saturday March 24 from 10.30am to 5pm.

Coffee, cake and lunch will be available on the day plus chance to view and buy work by local and professional artists.

Any artists wishing to exhibit at the event, or anyone wishing to find out more, can contact Ann Becke on 07711 154401.