No dry eyes for this FOCC farewell event

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There was not a dry eye in the house as children from Belarus sang and performed their final concert last Thursday.

Visting in Longridge and Chipping from their homes in eastern Europe under the umbrella of local organisation Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC), the youngsters sang some wonderful songs and performed traditional Belorussian dances.

They also enjoyed pizzas supplied by Franco’s Restaurant.

The event was held at St Wilfrid’s Club in Longridge.

FOCC co-ordinators Teresa and Chris Miller welcomed Longridge Mayor and Mayoress, Coun David and Sheila Moon to the evening.

The couple were thanked for their gifts to the children and their kind words for the Friends.

Afterwards Coun Moon said “Although some of the 11 children were a little nervous at first, they soon joined in 100 per cent with high spirits showing enthusiastic dancing and singing skills!

“The brigade had provided the visitors with a mini-bus to enable them to have days out and Longridge Town Council offered their support with £100 of fuel to run the vehicle.

“Following the concert the children kindly presented us with a hand-painted card and balloons and we gave them each a ‘goody’ bag for the return journey home.

“The families of Chipping and Longridge who accept these youngsters into their family life, many on an annual basis, are once again evidence of the great caring community found in our villages.

“Well done to all involved and many thanks for including us in this very special event.”

In the last action-packed days of their visit, the group enjoyed a trip to the Lancashire Dales and Chipping Wild Boar Park thanks to owner Chris Bailey.

They also had a ‘Jacob’s join’ at St Mary’s School in Chipping, a fun day on the dry ski slopes, a guided tour round Dewlays Dairy where they were given ‘goody bags’ full of cheese, chocolate and trinkets to take home.

Their last day was at Highfield Priory Private School in Fulwood, performing plays.