Co-op hands funding boost to charity which provides lifeline to youngsters impacted by Chernobyl disaster

Central England Co-op has made a £1,000 donation to the Chernobyl Children Life Line Pinxton and East Derbyshire charity after the Coronavirus meant its annual trip for youngsters from Belarus had to be cancelled.

The retailer, via its Northern Membership and Community Council, made the gesture as well as donating £300 in food vouchers to ensure the vital charity that helps children deal with the legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster can continue to be supported during these challenging times.

Normally, the youngsters would pay a visit to Chesterfield Football Club as part of a month long stay which also see the children stay with a host families in Chesterfield and East Derbyshire, receive medical care and take part in a range of fun activities and events.

The visit to the UK is life changing for the youngsters. It is estimated that a month staying with a family in the UK, eating nourishing food and breathing clean fresh air will boost their immune system for up to two years. They hope to return to the UK in 2021 and this donation will help support that planned visit.

Tanya Noon, Member and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, who has helped build the Society’s strong ties with the charity, said: “We have supported the charity for many years and they do such a fantastic job.

“We are so disappointed for the youngsters and the fact they cannot visit this year due to restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus.

“Our Member and Community Council are pleased to donate £1,000 and £300 in food vouchers to continue to help the work of the charity and, hopefully, allow these brave children to come and visit in 2021.”

Richard Street, Chairman of Chernobyl Children Life Line Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link, which has now supported over 500 children since its foundation, said: “At this time of year we would normally be bringing children from Belarus for a convalescing break in our region of the UK but sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this has had to be deferred until the crisis has passed.

“Unfortunately the situation has not allowed any fundraising but thanks to our earlier fundraising efforts and our dear friends and supporters we were able to provide some support in the hospitals and clinics in the area where our children live, with the provision of PPE and necessary equipment. “Although our efforts are somewhat limited financially we have at least given them some help and hope in reducing the potential effects of the terrible Covid –19 virus.

“We are very grateful to those who have been able to continue their help especially the spontaneous help from Central England Co-operative with their wonderful donation and support with our fundraising.”

The Chernobyl Children Life Line charity was formed to help the children of Belarus, which was the country hardest hit by the Chernobyl disaster, with 75% of the fallout landing on its territory affecting around 90% of its area.

There are many links throughout the UK who raise funds to bring groups of children to the UK for respite care. The Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link was formed in 1995, successfully hosting its first group of children in the summer of 1996 and children from Belarus have been visiting the area each summer ever since.

To find out more about the charity visit or contact Richard directly at

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


Notes to editors

Picture caption: An image from the visit that took place in 2019.

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email -