Armenia Mission To Help Children


Bristol Evening Post, UK
August 6, 2007 Monday

A Bristol receptionist is off to a former Soviet state to work with
disadvantaged children.

Tracy Thurlow, pictured, a receptionist at Bristol property maintenance
firm Integral is visiting the town of Armavir in Armenia to help set
up and run two clubs for youngsters up to the age of 13.

Integral also helps to sponsor a cultural exchange between Russian
children and students at the Ridings School in Winterbourne.

Tracy, of Bradley Stoke, will be working with the students helping
them to improve their English and practising her Russian, which is
widely spoken in Armenia.

She has already visited Russia and Romania several times, working
with her local church and other volunteers to establish children’s
clubs and help with a drugs rehabilitation project. Each volunteer
has to fund their own travel costs and Tracy has held cake sales,
mufti days, raffles and done a sponsored skydive. So far she has
raised more than 1,000.

Tracy said: "I’ve been learning Russian with an audio-tape every day
on my way to and from work and in my lunch hours. I’m not sure how well
I’m doing as I have no one to practise with. I’m really looking forward
to the trip. It’s hard work but when you get to the end of the trip and
see the difference we have made to the children, it’s all worth it."

Bryan Glastonbury, Integral’s managing director, said: "The children’s
club makes an important difference to the lives of children who have
few opportunities. We are pleased to support Tracy."