A TV star caused a bit of a stir when he dropped in to help promote a new charity shop for children from Chernobyl.
Lyndon Ogbourne, 27, who played bad-boy Nathan Wylde in Emmerdale, drew in the crowds yesterday as he visited the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline Old Town Link store, in Wood Street.
He was also named patron of the Old Town Link, founded by Lynette Corengia a year ago to help children in Ukraine and Belarus who still suffer the effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
Lyndon, who was born in Swindon, said he was pleased to be back promoting the cause. He said: “It means a lot to be named patron to be honest. I’ve worked a lot with children and have seen the effect this charity has on them.
“It’s slightly different from other charities because you see where the money goes and the immediate effect on those children. It’s literally like a disaster waiting to happen again continuously. Hopefully I can help them.”
The former Commonweal School pupil said he was now working on some film projects in London but he was happy to be back in Swindon.
“It’s very strange but it’s heart-warming. I don’t get to come back enough and to have this response is amazing. I’m proud to be from Swindon,” he said. Mrs Corengia, who has cared for a girl from Chernobyl, said the shop, which opened a month ago, had been well supported.
She said: “We were lucky to be given the place rent-free and managed to set it up in a week but we will have to close it soon.
“We will look at other places to go so if anyone can help us that would be great. It’s so important for the children. Many don’t live past 30.
“We asked Lyndon because he is so gorgeous and I live next door to his uncle. He has been fantastic.”
Dennis Vystavkia, chief executive of the UK charity Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, said he was surprised by the support of the community.
“We just popped in and got taken by surprise. The main idea is to bring awareness of the 25 years following the disaster,” he said.
“The radiation will be there for hundreds or thousands of years and there are still children living in the contaminated areas of Belarus and Ukraine.
“Child cancer victims in Belarus are on the increase every year.
“The children benefit greatly when they come here and they off-load the radiation that hammers their bodies during those four weeks so it gives them a real boost.
“It is just amazing – the support of the whole community has exceeded all expectations.”