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Chernobyl children enjoying lunch at Bradford College

Youngsters affected by the Chernobyl disaster have been having fun in Bradford.

Six children from Belarus who suffer the effects of low-level radiation from the nuclear disaster of 1986 visited the city as part of a month-long stay in the UK organised by the charity Chernobyl Children’s Life Line.

The children spent a day in the city, visiting the National Science and Media Museum, enjoying lunch at Bradford College and then spending the afternoon making music at the School of Rock and Media.

The children, aged nine and ten years, are spending a month with host families around the Oldham area to benefit from breathing clean air and eating healthy, non-contaminated food.

During their stay, the youngsters are also set to visit the coast of North Wales which will be the first time any have visited the seaside as they come from a rural village in landlocked Belarus.

Bradford College Deputy Chief Executive, Craig Tupling, Director of Finance and Corporate Services Chris Malish and Brian Mitchell, Head of School Social Care & Community Practice were on hand to welcome the children, along with the charity representatives, into the college on Friday.

Belarus received around 70 per cent of the radioactive fallout from the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in neighbouring Ukraine. Although the incident happened 33 years ago, the horrifying effects of radiation leaks are still being felt today and will be for future generations. Children from the area often have compromised immune systems which means they can be susceptible to various types of cancers and can be prone to suffering flu and colds, persistent headaches, dizziness and sore throats.

Organiser Theresa Novotny said:

“This is the first time we have brought visiting children to Bradford but it won’t be the last. The city has lots to offer and we are very grateful to the museum, the college and to SORN for being so generous and making the children feel welcome.

“There are big health benefits for the children spending four weeks away from their contaminated homeland, eating healthy, clean food and breathing in the fresh air. Whilst they are here we also take them shopping for school uniforms and new shoes and try to give them as many lovely experiences as possible.”

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