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Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's The Long Way Round inspires Yorkshire bikers to raise money for UNICEF

Kyiv- July 3, 2006: Inspired by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in The Long Way Round, a group of nineteen bikers are traveling on a 3,500 mile journey across Europe in an effort to raise essential funding for a UNICEF-supported project in Kiev, Ukraine.

Fellow motorcycle enthusiast Charley Boorman collected the cheque on UNICEF’s behalf just outside London and joined the group on the first leg of their journey.

The group, led by the chairman of Rawmarsh Motorcycle Club, Keith Hopkins, and his wife, Judith, have so far raised an impressive £40,000, all of which will go directly to help fund new premises for the UNICEF-supported project “Help for Chernobyl Children” that was set up in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster and supports over 200 children and families who were affected by the accident.

“Help for Chernobyl Children” was one of the projects that Charley and Ewan visited during their 20,000 mile trip round the world. After their return, a TV series, DVD and book were produced about their trip. A number of fundraising events have taken places which have raised much needed funds for various UNICEF projects worldwide. The project “Help for Chornobyl Children” helps children affected by the disaster by giving them the opportunity to socialise, learn skills like sewing, computing, play sports, learn English, make films and videos and receive psychological and physiotherapist support. The incidence of childhood cancers has risen at least ten-fold in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred just over twenty years ago on April 26, 1986.

UNICEF supporter Charley Boorman said: “It’s an honour to think that The Long Way Round has inspired others to raise money to support the incredible work that UNICEF is doing for the children of Kiev. Meeting the children at this project was one of the highlights of our trip and I’d like to give my support and encouragement to Keith and the rest of the group for their exciting journey.”

Keith Hopkins and his crew were on the road for 14 days and passed through France, Holland, Germany and Poland on their journey to Ukraine. The return trip will also see them making stops in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Belgium.

For further information please contact:

Dmytro Konyk, UNICEF Ukraine, e-mail: dkonyk@unicef.org

Anna Sukhodolska, UNICEF Ukraine, e-mail: asukhodolska@unicef.org

Notes to editors:

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

 

 
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