CHILDREN from Belarus were the focus for staff at Specsavers Livingston. 
The 20 youngsters, aged between eight and 13, arrived in Scotland in May for a month-long, activity-packed trip with charity Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, West Lothian. Top of the to-do list was a visit to The Centre, Livingston, for a full eye examination. 
Ted Akil, store director of Specsavers Livingston, says: ‘We have a long standing relationship with the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children charity and it was an absolute pleasure to welcome the children into the store. 
‘We take our opticians for granted but these children have little or no access to proper services so it’s essential they get a full examination while they are here.’
Vital service
The eye tests revealed that seven of the 20 children and one of the interpreters required glasses, which were provided with free of charge. The staff also gave the children a goody bag and gift voucher to buy stationary and books. 
Mr Akil added: ‘Although more than 25 years has passed since the disaster, the effects will be felt for years to come. We were thrilled to see the children today and we hope we have made some small change to their quality of life.’
Kenny Turnbull, group co-ordinator, says: ‘We are so grateful to Ted and his team at Specsavers Livingston for their continued support. 
‘Eyecare is a very important part of what we do with the children and the service we receive from Specsavers is first class. 
‘All the children get their eyes tested and glasses issued the same day, but Ted and the team don’t stop there, they go that extra mile by organising gifts for the children too. 
‘It makes our “job” so much easier when people are helpful and kind and want to do us much as they can to make the children’s visit special.’