‘Rewarding to see them so happy’: Children affected by Chernobyl disaster visit Wigan Fire Station

By Danielle Wainwright

Children affected by the Chernobyl disaster were given a guided tour of Wigan Fire Station on Monday as part of their visit to the North West.

The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline charity organised the tour which saw the children practising the everyday tasks of the Blue Watch firefighters.

They were shown how to squirt water from hoses in the station yard and what it was like to search a smoke filled room as well as visiting fire engines.

Crew Manager Tony Callaghan said it was a privilege to show the children around.

“They really enjoyed hearing the sirens and learning about what we do,” he said.

“It was really moving to see the smiles on the children’s faces and the watch were really touched that simple things, like tucking into fresh fruit with us, seemed to make them happy.”

EXCITED: Children affected by Chernobyl visit fire station

Arriving from the village of Remel in Belarus on Saturday, where everyday commodities such as fresh fruit are not available in Chernobyl because of the contamination caused by the catastrophic nuclear disaster of 1986.

Paul Wilson, a fundraiser and volunteer for the charity, said: “The children are living with the fall out of Chernobyl and where they live, everything is contaminated with radiation.

“They come over here for some respite and they really benefit from the fresh air and their time here.

“They loved their time at the fire station; it’s really rewarding to have children staying with us and other local families to see them so happy.”

The children will also visit Blackpool, local schools and local parks as part of their tour.

Picture courtesy of WikiCommons, with thanks.

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