POOR Russian orphans will be able to take part in fun activities this summer - thanks to kind Huddersfield people.
Christian charity Love Russia, which is based in the Isle of Wight but has links in the town co-ordinated by Oakes Baptist Church, is planning two trips in July and August.
Volunteers will descend on orphanages in Kostino and Chapaevskoye, 200 and 230 kilometres south-east of Moscow in the county of Ryazan, to hold playscheme sessions with plenty of arts and crafts.
The group has been helping Russian children for more than a decade.
One of the team leaders, Simon Hall, says: "There are 39 of us going this time.
"Many of the team are students, giving up their time and £500 of their own money to fund themselves."
About 150 children aged eight to 16 are set to benefit.
Simon says: "Conditions in the orphanages are improving but by our standards they're still not good.
"All the buildings need repairing and the kids themselves have very little in the way of personal possessions. Many of them even share clothes.
"Schooling is nowhere near the British standard but the staff do try very hard."
A recent appeal called Socks Of Gold was a great success. Local people were urged to give a pair of clean, new socks and a pound coin - and the charity collected 4,000 donations.
This time they're trying a similar scheme, calling on supporters to tape a pound coin to a box of sticking plasters.
Simon explains: "The last potato crop failed, leaving a food shortage.
"If we can cut the orphanages' bill for medical supplies, they can use the money saved to buy extra food.
"We chose plasters because they symbolise how children in Russia, thousands of miles away, are so alike youngsters in the UK when it comes to cuts and grazes."
Love Russia also wants people to collect the star tokens on boxes of Persil washing powder for them.
Simon says: "We can trade these for arts and craft materials - a very valuable aid for us because they just can't get the same stuff in Russia."
* Simon is asking people to send donations and tokens to him c/o DP Marketing, P.O.Box 1234, Huddersfield, HD3 4WT. He is available to give talks about the work of Love Russia to local groups. Contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01484-643682.