Leaps and laughter greet Belarus kids

Photo Neil Cross'Tomorrow Children of Chernobyl at Ascent, Blackpool'Tima
Photo Neil Cross'Tomorrow Children of Chernobyl at Ascent, Blackpool'Tima
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Children were jumping for joy when they visited a trampoline park as part of a health-boosting trip to Blackpool.

A group of 10 youngsters from Belarus are spending four weeks in the resort as part of an annual visit organised by the Fylde branch of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline (CCL).

Photo Neil Cross  Children of Chernobyl at Ascent, Blackpool Sacha

Photo Neil Cross Children of Chernobyl at Ascent, Blackpool Sacha

All have been affected in some way by the nuclear accident of 30 years ago which continues to cause parts of Belarus to suffer from radioactivity.

CCL supports the youngsters and their families with medicines, holiday and equipment to combat the impact of illnesses triggered by the disaster.

A packed programmed in Blackpool has included trips to Ascent trampoline park in Marton, Blackpool Zoo and the Model Village.

The children were also treated to a visit to the Sealife Centre and Tower, and a meal at McDonalds in Bank Hey Street, with the latter organised and funded by Blackpool North Rotary Club. Lee Hennigan, assistant manager at Ascent, said: “We were happy to help such a good cause.

Blackpool North Rotary Club has welcomed a group of Children from Chernobyl to the town this week. They enjoyed their lunch at McDonald's as part of a day out which also included visits to the Sea Life Centre and Tower Circus. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 08, 2016.

Blackpool North Rotary Club has welcomed a group of Children from Chernobyl to the town this week. They enjoyed their lunch at McDonald's as part of a day out which also included visits to the Sea Life Centre and Tower Circus. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 08, 2016.

“The children absolutely loved it and were playing in the dodge ball area, basketball and the foam pits. They didn’t want to come away!

“We know there is nothing like this back home for them and it’s fantastic to see them having such a great time.”

Chairman of the Blackpool CCL group David Lowe, vice-chairman Susan Bennet and secretary Janet Mellor, along with hosts and helpers worked to provide the youngsters from the village of Vysokoe with the holiday, which also includes check ups with opticians and dentists.

Ms Bennet said: “Even though children now are not directly affected by thyroid cancer, families are still growing food in contaminated soil in the farms and allotments, and the radiation cannot be eradicated.

“So older people as well as the young are susceptible to other cancers such as leukaemia and bone disease, and the immune systems of the young are still compromised from a lack of good vitamins and minerals in their soil.

“After four weeks of eating fresh food here, the children’s immune system recovers and they return home fitter and happy from their holiday here.”

The children live with host families, who help care for them.

Group trips are organised through the generosity of Blackpool community groups and businesses, and have also included Viva for a magic show, and visits to Illuminasia and Farmer Parr’s.

On Friday the group will meet Blackpool Mayor Coun Kath Rowson at the town hall, and their trip will be rounded off with a leaving party at the Hilton Hotel.