MID Cheshire charity workers are thanking local people who made their latest mercy mission to Belarus possible.
Joan Newton and her husband Mick spent five days in Belarus handing out vital aid to children and adults still suffering the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.
Joan and Mick, of Long Lane, Middlewich, have made more than a dozen trips to Eastern Europe, taking equipment as varied as incontinence pads, kitchen cupboards, computers and toys.
Joan established the Heart, Hope and Help Humanitarian Aid charity, of which she is now chairman, nearly a year ago. Before they had to tag on to other charity groups visiting the country. The couple, who are also full time foster parents, make two trips a year.
She says the people of Mid Cheshire really made a difference by helping to fill six trucks full of equipment - which will prove a lifeline to the people of Belarus.
Joan said: 'Everything went very well. The weather wasn't too bad - around freezing.
'We visited Belarus Children's Hospice, the Infection Hospital for Children and a number of local schools. Many of the items we have taken before were visibly in use in schools and hospitals, and they will make use of all the equipment we are taking over this time.
'Everyone is so friendly to us and so grateful when we are over there but it's non-stop - you don't get a chance to breath.
We wanted to go to the school we usually visit but there was an outbreak of Hepatitis A.
'The children remember us and their faces light up when we go. The toys they receive from us are the only toys they see.
'We can see a couple of projects developing for next year - we are trying to get stuff for a hospital kitchen and are also appealing for parents who are going to be sorting out their kids' old toys to make way for Christmas presents.'
Joan added: 'We also want musical instruments and sports equipment. We have just been donated a whole network of computers by school in South Wales, and hopefully we are going to put them in two schools over there.
'Please can we also make an appeal for sanitary equipment, kitchen equipment and A4 paper goods.'
She made a special mention of Joy Naylor who organised a fundraising concert at Middlewich Primary School and Winsford's Hebden Green Special School, for an electric wheelchair.
Anyone who has items that may be of benefit can call the Newtons on 01606 833250.