CAMPAIGN has been launched to return a deported star violinist and her family to their Crewe home.

Concern is growing for the Klopot family after immigration officials swooped at the crack of dawn, packing them off to Israel.

Russian-born Helen Klopot played violin with the South Cheshire Orchestra, her husband Vadim worked as a civil engineer and their children were being educated in Crewe.

Yesterday friends gathered at the Klopots' home in Richmond Road to raise awareness of their campaign urging the authorities to allow them home.

A website was set up on Sunday for people to register their support.

Orchestra chairman Philip Hoare said: 'They are such talented, lovely people. Helen's skills as a violinist are inter-nationally renowned and she taught in local schools.

'They were bundled off without time to spare, just minutes to pack suitcases. They didn't even have time to pack a mobile phone charger.

'Helen found access to e-mail but I haven't heard from them for days. Their whereabouts are unclear and everyone is getting terribly concerned.'

Their son, Vitaly, 17, was studying for his A-levels at South Cheshire College and daughter Alona, 11, attended Hungerford Primary School.

Mr Hoare, who today meets immigration officials in London, added: 'The family have been in the UK since 2000.

'We hope Vitaly can return with a visa to continue his studies.

'Any longer there, and he will be compulsorily drafted into the Israeli army.'

Neighbours are supporting the campaign. Tony Jones said: 'I heard loud bangs on the door and then saw the family frog-marched down the path. No one deserves that.'

Friend Sue Molesworth, of Haslington, who played with Helen in folk band Shake the Barley, said: 'We have sent emails reassuring her we are doing all we can.'

The Home Office says it cannot discuss an individual case but in a letter to Crewe and Nantwich MP Gwyneth Dun-woody it said all the 'compassionate factors' she had put forward had been considered but they did not outweigh normal policy.

But it did add: 'It will be open to Mr Klopot and his family to apply for entry clearance if they wish to return to the UK', fuelling hope the family can return.