Staff at Specsavers in Gravesend recently welcomed a group of children from Belarus into the store for an eye health check.

The eight children, who live in an area still affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, received a free eye test during their visit, organised by charity Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Medway.

Lucy Wignall, director of Specsavers in Gravesend, said: ‘We have been welcoming children from Belarus in our store for 20 years and were delighted to welcome them again. Our opticians carried out sight tests on all of the youngsters and it was great to gift free glasses to those who needed them.

The importance of eye care 

‘Having the correct eyecare can greatly improve quality of life and education. We often take access to eye care for granted in this country, but sadly, many of these children don’t have access to the treatment they need. It was a pleasure to be able to help.’

The organisation works to relieve the suffering of children from the resounding after-effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster, which are still devastating families across poverty-stricken Belarus. The four-week visits, staying with local families, are said to boost the children’s immune systems for at least two years, helping them to resist or recover from serious illness.