A group of 14 children from Belarus, which remains heavily contaminated from the 1986 Chernobyl radiation disaster, recently enjoyed a life-enhancing trip to North Yorkshire.

Add two years to a child's life expectancy

During their stay, which is expected to add two years to their life expectancy, the youngsters, aged seven to 11, visited Specsavers in Northallerton to receive a free eye examination. Following the examinations, free glasses were provided to a number of the children.

The Belarus region received 70 per cent of the radiation fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Just two weeks in the United Kingdom can allow the deadly Caesium 137 strain of radiation to leave the body, putting years on to their life. The respite holiday was organised by Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Northallerton Group.

Providing eye care

Ruth Sinclair, store director at Northallerton Specsavers says: ‘The health of these children has been compromised by the Chernobyl disaster, which took place years before they were even born. It’s important to provide them with healthcare that they may not have access to in Belarus. More importantly, by providing an environment with improved air, water, food and healthcare we can increase their life expectancy by two years. We’re so pleased we can help contribute to their future wellbeing and hope they enjoyed the visit to our town.’

Linda Spence, visit co-ordinator, says: ‘I would like to thank the Specsavers team for their generosity. Having access to eyecare is something that we all take for granted in this country, but for some of the children, this will be the first time they’ll have had their eyes tested, making a huge difference to their daily lives.’

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