A WIRRAL charity is looking to put a smile on the faces of the child victims of Chernobyl by giving them the holiday of a lifetime this June.
Nineteen children from Belarus will visit the borough for a month-long break away from the radiation still present since the nuclear disaster more than 25 years ago.
The annual trip has been organised by the Wirral Link, part of Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (CCLL) and will see the youngsters stay with Wirral people in a bid to boost their health.
Sue Riley, from CCLL, said: “The children will stay with host families for a month and it gets them away from the radiation in Belarus for a while.
“Many children become ill as they progress into their teens and a month away from the radiation can give their immune system a significant boost and improve their health.
“We also give them a holiday of a lifetime and arrange lots of trips and activities.”
The children - aged between seven and 10 - and two leaders will enjoy a variety of activities including a ferry trip across the Mersey to the Echo Arena.
They will also visit the Blue Planet Aquarium and Blackpool Pleasure Beach as well as enjoying ice skating, bowling and a picnic on Hilbre Island.
As well as giving the children a holiday they will never forget, the charity – which has a shop in King Street, Wallasey – also hopes to provide them with clothing and footwear.
Sue added: “We are desperately trying to collect good second hand clothes, shoes, nightwear, coats, and swimwear as the children come with very little.
“If anyone has anything they could donate for the children, we would be grateful if they could drop them off at our charity shop near the town hall.”
Sue Riley, from Chernobyl Children’s Life Line, is appealing for donations of clothes to give to the children from Belarus.
On April 26, 1986, a failed experiment at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine set fire to the reactor core and blew the top off the building.
The wind carried the radiation cloud north over the border into Belarus where more than 60% of the radiation fell.
The ground was heavily contaminated and will continue to be so for thousands of years.
Children are particularly susceptible to radiation induced illnesses and many have leukaemia, cancer of the thyroid and other cancers.
A month in Britain - where they can eat cleaner food, breathe cleaner air and build up strength - can greatly improve life expectancy.
Donations can be dropped off at the Wirral Link, 34 King Street, Wallasey.