Volunteers revamp orphanage

CHILDREN at an orphanage in Bulgaria are now living in brighter surroundings thanks to some Clevedon volunteers.

Simon Flett and Terrence Bradley, who both live in the town, organised a trip to Razlog where they and a group of 18-30-year-olds spent two weeks renovating the orphanage and stripping, painting and varnishing walls.

The group, made up of people from across North Somerset including those who are unemployed, recovering addicts and ex-offenders, also created a new basket ball court at the site during their visit in September.

The project was supported by Clevedon YMCA.

Simon, aged 34, said: “Going to Bulgaria was quite a culture shock for all of us.

“We made the orphanage look fresh and funky and we really did ourselves and Clevedon YMCA proud.”

While in Bulgaria, the group managed to complete all the work it had planned despite half of the volunteers being struck down by a severe virus in the first week and some having to be taken to hospital for treatment, including 33-year-old Terrence. Simon, who is a recovering addict along with Terrence, added: “The illness did not stop us as a group - it just made us stronger.

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“By the second week we were fighting fit and ready to go and we absolutely took the project by storm.

“This project really helps you to grow, mature, team build, see the world from a different perspective and, in mine and Terrence’s case, to see the world from a godly view.”