Halesowen teacher turned pastor Brian Burton is spearheading an effort to help victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma.

The pastor who left his Amblecote home to run Phuket Christian Centre - and who led aid efforts in Thailand after the tsunami - was hoping to head out to the disaster zone with his Burmese colleague Pastor Zaw Khan Oo, but he has not been able to get a visa.

So while he awaits news from Pastor Zaw, who has returned home to devastated Myanmar in Burma to search for friends and family, he is appealing to people to make donations to help with future relief attempts.

Brian told the News: "There have been incredible restrictions imposed by the Burmese Government on aid reaching the suffering people.

"None of our Burmese church members have received any news that their families are alive, so our Burmese pastor Zaw has gone out to Rangoon and will try and get news of as many as he can.

"The best plan for anyone who wants to help is to give money.

"Then when Zaw comes back with a plan we can initiate it with the funds we have available.

"The one blessing is that Burmese citizens are not being restricted in what they can do, so there is a way we can help... through Zaw."

Brian - a former RE teacher at Windsor High School in Halesowen - has been running Phuket Christian Centre with his wife Margaret for 18 years.

The pair had been trying to improve the lives of the island's destitute but after the devastating Asian tsunami of 2004, Brian found himself at the centre of efforts to help the many Thai people who lost their loved ones, livelihoods and homes.

He helped persuade supporters across the world to give thousands towards rebuilding work on the Thai island.

News group readers gave £87,000 towards rebuilding Ban Kamala School in Phuket.

And now he hopes to be able to help again as Phuket Christian Centre has many Burmese members in its congregation, many of whom have no idea whether their families are alive or dead.

He said: "We learnt from the tsunami that much money was given to Thailand and yet very little of the international aid received actually reached those who desperately needed it.

"Our desire is to see the support for Myanmar reach those who need it."

To help go to www.phuketchristiancentre.com.