Linlithgow opticians give Chernobyl girl free specs

Marina Shukharenka of Belarus received a free eye examination during her visit to Specsavers Linlithgow at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road and was given two complimentary pairs of glasses. She is pictured with Calum, one of the store's optical assistants.
Marina Shukharenka of Belarus received a free eye examination during her visit to Specsavers Linlithgow at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road and was given two complimentary pairs of glasses. She is pictured with Calum, one of the store's optical assistants.

A Linlithgow opticians has welcomed a youngster from Belarus affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

Marina Shukharenka received a free eye examination during her visit to Specsavers at the Regent Centre in Blackness Road and was given two complimentary pairs of glasses.

The 14-year-old lives in an area still affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and was in Scotland on a recuperative holiday, organised by the charity, Friends of Chernobyl’s Children.

The organisation aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children still suffering from the aftermath of the 1986 explosion.

The visits, during which the children stay with local families, are said to boost their immune systems for at least two years, helping them to resist or recover from serious illness.

Diana Kelly, director of Specsavers Linlithgow, said: “We are always delighted to welcome visitors into the store. We carried out an eye examination on Marina and discovered she was significantly short-sighted without any correction. It was wonderful to gift her two pairs of glasses - and she will now be coming back next summer to try contact lenses.

“Having the correct eyecare can greatly improve quality of life and education. We often take access to eyecare for granted in this country, but sadly many of these children don’t get the treatment they need. It was a pleasure to be able to help.”