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Chernobyl children look on the bright side at our Stone branch

Post on 19th August 2019

Children from Chernobyl enjoying a respite holiday were welcomed at our Stone branch which provided free eye tests and prescription glasses. The ten youngsters were put at ease by optometrist Larisa Dorochtchak, who is Ukrainian and speaks Russian, and they also received goody bags from the team at the branch on Adies Alley.

The children aged ten to 12 years-old are here on a month-long break organised by a local branch of the charity Chernobyl Children’s Project (UK), staying with host families and enjoying various activities as well as access to dental and optical check-ups. They still face radiation associated illnesses as the legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in 1986. The change of environment here improves their immune systems and health and increases life expectancy.

Branch manager Laura Pickerill said: “Some of the children had not had their eyes tested before. We wanted to make their visit fun and with our optometrist being Ukrainian and able to speak to them without the need of a translator it certainly helped. We provided five pairs of glasses. We were happy to help and they kindly gave us a box of chocolates and a plant each as a thank-you.”

Margie Haslop, co-ordinator of the charity’s Stafford and Stone group, said: “The Scrivens staff were smashing with the children. The branch has been so generous and so loyal to us over several years and we really appreciate the support. It certainly makes a difference to children who do not have access to opticians back home and whose parents may not be able to afford glasses for them.”

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