Children suffering from the ongoing effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster have visited Specsavers in Derby, as part of a charitable scheme organised by Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC).

The team in the Intu Centre welcomed the group of children from Belarus into the store, offering a dedicated clinic of free eye tests and glasses to those that needed them at no extra cost.

During their visit, the children were each given a goody bag, which included colouring books, crayons, sweets, hair accessories, and stationery sets.

A word from the store director 

‘We had a fantastic day with the children,’ said Derby store director, Uan Gohil. ‘We really felt like we were making a difference, however small, to improve the health of these youngsters, who are still experiencing the lingering effects of the tragic Chernobyl disaster.

‘In their home country, these children often don’t have access to any kind of eye care, so these trips are really valuable for them. We often take our health services for granted, but without proper eye care, these children may be seriously disadvantaged in the future.’

A good cause

The visit is part of an initiative organised by the FOCC, a registered charity that funds and organises yearly visits for Belarusian children from disadvantaged social backgrounds to the UK, where they stay with host families for temporary recuperative care. The charity targets particularly needy children from seven to 12 years of age, who are often in need of dental and medical attention, education, and tender loving care. The children, from the badly contaminated areas of Belarus, come for one month every year for five consecutive years, which has been shown to have a significant effect upon their overall quality of life, their happiness, health and well-being.

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