Review of the year - Women

PUBLISHED: 12:50 04 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:57 12 May 2010

MICHAELA HUFFER: “Overwhelmed – but we’re not stopping there.”

MICHAELA HUFFER: "Overwhelmed - but we're not stopping there."

WHAT a year it has been for Nicola Dunklin, who achieved her ambition of helping people affected by the Chernobyl disaster. In April, the 38-year-old Melbourn Village College teaching assistant set up the South Cambridgeshire branch of the charity, Frien

Nicola Dunklin

WHAT a year it has been for Nicola Dunklin, who achieved her ambition of helping people affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

In April, the 38-year-old Melbourn Village College teaching assistant set up the South Cambridgeshire branch of the charity, Friends of Chernobyl's Children (FOCC).

Over the following six months, The Crow followed Nicola's journey as she secured more than £7,000 through fundraising and donations and finally achieved her dream.

And in September, 16 disadvantaged youngsters from Belarus were given a life-changing opportunity and left the toxins of Chernobyl for the peaceful setting of Melbourn and the surrounding villages.

For four weeks the seven and eight-year-olds embarked on a programme of vital medical care and fun packed activities - all steps that have helped give each child a healthier outlook.

Nicola said: "This is the first of many trips and I think we have achieved what we set out to do.

"If their care is maintained, a real difference can be made.

"There's even a good chance of doubling their life expectancies.

"And the physical difference from when they arrived to when they left was quite amazing.

"Everyone involved has come along way in such a short space of time and we have helped make a huge difference."

- Michaela Huffer inspired the Royston Pink Ribbon Run Walk in aid of Cancer Research UK in June, and helped raised £20,000.

She underwent a life-saving 14-hour operation in September 2005 to remove a cancerous tumour from her spine.

Despite being told she would never walk again, Michaela helped organise the event, and proved everybody wrong by completing half the course, with her mum Dawn Goodings, 60, and her children, Frank and Madeline.

She said: "I wanted to do it for the women of Royston."

The initial target for the event had been £10,000.

At a cheque ceremony in August Michaela said: "Everyone who took part seemed to have a personal reason.

"But we're just overwhelmed by the money raised, although we're not stopping there."

Michaela is currently planning this year's Pink Ribbon Run Walk in June.

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