Invite for Chernobyl-affected Belarus kids

KIND-hearted Thornton residents have arranged for a party of children from Belarus to stay on the Fylde coast.

The area has played host to 10 young girls from Belarus, in the former Soviet Union, thanks to Thornton couple Jim and Barbara Heatley, who organised a one-month holiday for the children.

In 1986, Belarus was devastated by the Chernobyl disaster, when a nuclear power station exploded in neighbouring Ukraine.

It is estimated that 60 per cent of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus.

The effects of the disaster are still being felt today with high instances of cancer and other diseases.

Luckily for this group of 10 girls, a Blackpool-based group, Chernobyl Children’s Life Line, was on hand.

The group is a national group that has links all over the UK. The Blackpool group is run by Mr and Mrs Heatley, of Kildare Avenue.

The youngsters were given a warm welcome on a visit to the City Learning Centre in Blackpool to record a DVD about their experiences.

Mr Heatley said by bringing the children over and giving them clean air and good food it could boost their immune systems for up to two years.