TWELVE children affected by the Chernobyl disaster were treated
to a guided tour of Bolton Central Fire Station by firefighters
from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. (GMFRS)
The children aged between seven and 12, visited the Moor Lane
station during a two week stay in the North West of England
organised by the Medicine and Chernobyl Special Aid Group
Ann Richardson, a fundraiser and volunteer for the charity, said:
"The children are living with the fall out of Chernobyl and where
they live in the Rogachev area of Belarus everything is
contaminated with radiation.
"Some of the children have limbs missing, some are deaf or
partially sighted and many are orphaned or from poor
families. They come over here for a fortnight for respite
really and they really benefit from the fresh air and their time
Green Watch gave the children a tour of the station and fire
engines before showing them how to squirt water from hoses in the
Watch Manager Carl Haslam said: "It was a privilege to show the
children around and they really enjoyed hearing the sirens and
learning about what we do.
"But the best part was seeing the smiles on their faces, they
really seemed to have a good time and we sent them away with some
goodies and plastic helmets.
"They wished us good luck and left us with some Russian cakes and a
Belarusian flag, which was lovely."
Olga Mazko, from the Special Aid Group charity, said: "The children
really enjoyed the fire station visit, especially using the
"They won't have seen anything like this in Belarus and they wanted
to stay inside the fire engines as long as possible, it was hard to
go home afterwards."
Ann added: "The children are flying home on Sunday (April 15) and
they'll be wearing their helmets on the plane I'm sure. They've
been swimming in Southport, on the big wheel in Liverpool and to
Preston but they've had the most fun at the fire station."
Station Manager Steve Parkinson said: "This is the third time we've
had a group of children over from the Special Aid Group and it's
great to show the children what goes on at GMFRS here in
"I know the children enjoyed it, but so did Green Watch who got a
lot out of it too. The visits cost thousands of pounds so we have
invited the Special Aid Group to raise money at our open day in
Queen's Park this summer."
Nine-year-old Lida added: "I enjoyed the fire station it was very
good to squirt the water I will tell my friends in Belarus."