EVENTS

Three peaks were successfully ascended by our brave mountaineers in both good and awful conditions. See more here.

NEWS

Deb and Pam visited BCH again to advise on the physio project. Watch how a special chair transformed a little boy's life here.

FUNDRAISERS

The winning number in September's 100 Club draw is 37 and the prize is £40.  Find out more and about how you could join here.

News - Archive 2014

A Message From The Chairwoman Of Friends Of BCH

Dear Supporters

Greetings to you all in the year of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice’s 20th birthday! In October BCH celebrated with a big barbecue in the garden of its Minsk building and at the end of November they held a fundraising ball.

In the UK, Friends of BCH has had a good fundraising year, raising £57,959 plus an unexpected and very gratefully received legacy of £25,000. As we are still heavily committed to funding staff salaries in 2015, while BCH is busy raising money for its new building, this windfall will give us a flying start.

This year, Friends of BCH has helped pay the salaries of 34 of the 44 members of staff at BCH which means that 170 children of the 220 cared for in 2014 were supported directly by you. Another pleasing fact is that, from being a British-only organisation, we now have regular US, Russian and Belarusian supporters. Within Belarus, public knowledge about ‘What is a children’s hospice?’ is growing due to a great deal of PR work by BCH.

Stockholm Marathon

Aksana Barsukova ran the Stockholm marathon in aid of Friends of BCH and said, 'I'm originally from Belarus and work and study in London. I have chosen your charity because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to help children in my country who are in need of support so they know that they are not alone in the world and we adults do and will care about them.'

Hospice children and their families do know that people they have not met care for them. This encourages them greatly and they often express their appreciation and thanks.

BCH provides all services free of charge.

BCH Fundraising Ball In Minsk

On 29th November, 120 paying guests gathered in Minsk's newest hotel, the Beijing, for one of Belarus' first charity balls in the modern era.

The history of balls in the Russian speaking countries, said director of BCH Anna Garchakova in her introductory speech, tells us that there were two types: private balls, like the one Natasha Rostova dances at in the film of War and Peace, to which guests were invited at the expense of the ball's host and public balls for which there was fierce competition to buy tickets as they were often held in the most glittering and exclusive of venues.

The habit of holding balls died out in the austere Soviet years and is only now starting to be resurrected in Belarus. Thanks to the director of the Beijing Hotel, the ballroom and staff were provided free of charge. The ticket income more than covered the cost of the wonderful dinner and the entertainment. This amount raised was further augmented by an auction to which a local artist donated no fewer than 10 of her works and by a raffle with prizes brought all the way from London.

The final total raised, at time of writing, is somewhat over USD 30,000. A fantastic result for the Belarusian Children's Hospice. Well done Elena Anisimava and her team!

HE Mr Vasily Markovich, Czech ambassador to Belarus, HE Mr Bruce Bucknell, UK ambassador to Belarus, and Elena Anisimava at the ball

BCH Highlights For 2014

A few facts and figures for 2014

220 children and families cared for in their own homes

105 children received respite care at the BCH in-patient unit

70 children had holidays at the BCH summer complex

44 members of staff

BCH ran seminars to train medics from Belarus and Eastern European countries in children’s palliative care

The majority of the funds needed for constructing the new children’s palliative care centre in Minsk are being raised in Belarus by BCH’s own fundraising department which was initiated by Friends of BCH who continue to contribute to staff training

Vasili Karpiak - Our New Patron

The trustees of Friends of BCH are pleased to announce that Vasili Karpiak has agreed to become a patron and we look forward to working with him.

Vasili Karpiak, a rising young tenor, was born in Belarus in the town of Grodno. He studied at the Glinka conservatoire in Minsk the capital of Belarus, the Gnesin Academy in Moscow and finished his Masters degree at the International Opera School in London. Vasili is renowned for performing in the Royal College of Music's concert to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and his numerous recitals, concert and opera roles performed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Vasili is pleased to have been associated with various charitable causes and organisations where he has been able to use his musical gift to help many of those in need. In addition, he is known for his ability to bring together like-minded people to create occasions to help children and young people with disabilities and other special needs. He is delighted to be able to help sick children in his home country of Belarus by becoming a patron of Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice (UK).

During his training and career so far, Vasili has been an AHF scholar and has been supported by a Wall Trust Award, the Fidelio Trust, Ann Driver Trust, Henry Wood Trust, The Honourable Society of The Knights of the Round Table, Serena Fenwick Trust and the Phillip Carne Trust.

Half-Marathon Man

David Curtis, who claimed that he was not built for running, completed the 2014 Bristol half-marathon in 2 hours and 51 minutes and raised £7115 for Friends of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice. Congratulations to David for taking on this personal challenge and succeeding magnificently. David said, ‘What drove me on was the thought of how much good the money I raise will do in supporting the very sick children cared for by the Belarusian Children’s Hospice. Anyone who has experienced the courage and determination of a terminally ill child will know that they deserve all the support that we can give them.’

Anton's Olympic Triathlon

I am delighted to report that I completed my first full Olympic-level Triathlon in and around Minsk on behalf of Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice.

I started in the Palace of Water Sports swimming pool where no less than 3 television companies had cameras by the pool - there were interviews both before and after the swim. The swim was 1.5km. A film of the whole trip is being made and I will arrange to have it uploaded onto the Friends of BCH in time. By the by, while Minsk and Belarus are not widely known for their brilliance in swimming, many people do bring their children to Minsk to be trained by extremely capable and ferocious swimming instructors who have been responsible for many Olympic and other World Games medals.

The second leg was the run of 10km and I was joined by two volunteers – one of whom is a Belarusian businessman and the other is a national champion bicyclist, so ridiculously and threateningly fit. They set a pace faster than I wanted but at least I got it done. We ran through streets, underpasses, into the forest, down by a lake, along the motorway, back to the outskirts, through an airplane museum gardens and finally ended up at a restaurant which was closed – hugely frustrating as I was, by that point, in dire need of sustenance.

BCH Fundraiser's Visit To The UK

Elena Anisimava MBA, Head of Fundraising at the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, wrote,

‘If someone asks me why I decided to become a fundraiser, I would say because of THE CHALLENGE.

When I first met Anna Garchakova, the director of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH), one year ago she asked me, ‘Will you be able to rise to the challenge, give your ambitions, your time and efforts to raise US$ 4m for building a new children’s hospice in Belarus?’ I said, ‘Definitely yes’, and started my fundraising journey at BCH.

Anna Garchakova's Visit To The UK

Director of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice, Anna Garchakov, visited the UK recently at the invitation of Friends of BCH. Her busy schedule included

McHappy Day For BCH

McDonald’s restaurants across Minsk held a McHappy Day for the Belarusian Children's Hospice. Celebrity athletes, journalists and entertainers came in to serve the public and the takings from the sale of fries were donated to the hospice.