The team at Stourbridge's Specsavers welcomed a group of children from Belarus into the store during August for free eye examinations as part of activity organised by Chernobyl Children’s Life Line.

The charity arranges respite trips to the UK for children who are affected by the legacy of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Terry Tam, store director at Specsavers in Stourbridge, said: ‘This is the third year that we’ve had a group supported by Chernobyl Children visit the store and the whole team was really looking forward to seeing them. 

‘Our opticians carried out eye examinations, and if the children needed glasses we supplied those for free. It is the least we can do to help them, as back in Belarus, eyecare is out of reach for most families.

‘Having corrective glasses can make an enormous difference to a child’s quality of life and helps improve their education chances - simply because they can read and see everything around them.’

Ann Becke, a founder member of the Wolverhampton and Kinver Link of the Chernobyl Children's Life Line charity has co-ordinated the visit.  Ann said: ‘We are very grateful to Specsavers for offering free eyecare for the children.  So many of the children will not be able to access this back home, and often their sight can be affected by the radiation that is passed on in their genes or is ingested in food that is contaminated by Caesium 137. 

‘Caesium is found in the soil and affects the calcium in the bones of children living within proximity of the Chernobyl disaster.  An average 13-year old living in Belarus is said to have the stomach of a 70-year old.

‘Many of these children have life-shortening conditions and are being hosted by local families for the month of August. We’re delighted to be able to offer the children a range of fun activities and new experiences thanks to the generosity of people in the West Midlands.’ 

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