Marathon manto help victimsof Chernobyl

A paramedic from Felpham is running the London Marathon this weekend to help children still suffering the effects of the Chernobyl explosion 21 years ago.

Stuart Ward will be testing his fitness around the capital on behalf of SOS Children's Villages. The proceeds from the father of four's exertions will go towards the charity's work with youngsters in Belarus where an explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, created havoc in the surrounding countryside.

He said: 'My sister, Gail Ward, visited Belarus last year with SOS Children's Villages. Seeing her photos and hearing her talk about the kids she met, made me and my kids realise just how much they and their friends take for granted '“ healthy food, good medical care, families and friends.

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'Gail met kids with serious diet deficiencies because they can't eat locally grown fruit or veg because the area they live in is still contaminated from the Cernobyl nuclear explosion. Children there are suffering from health problems '“ in particular, oncological, or cancer.'

He and his family raised more than 5,000 for the charity last year through his marathon entry and other fundraising activities.

Stuart (47) has got fit for Sunday's marathon by running from his home close to Downview Primary School to his workplace at Bognor ambulance station on Chichester Road as well as regular runs up to Arundel. He also frequently canoes and cycles. He is hoping his efforts will pay off in London.

He had been a keen regular in his 20s but the demands of bringing up his family '“ his children are aged between seven and 20 '“ and his job caused him to temporarily put a stop to his hobby.

Anyone who wishes to support him can donate online at or by phoning 01243 370489.

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