VISITING children from an area still affected by the Chernobyl disaster have had their vision checked by a town optician as part of their annual visit to North Yorkshire.

The handful of children from the 'Friends of Chernobyl' charity group were given free eye tests, goody bags and glasses to those that needed them.

The children, from Belarus, which is a country still affected by the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986, visited Specsavers Northallerton before opticians tested each child's eyes for problems.

It is claimed children in Belarus, which neighbours Ukraine, are exposed to a radioactive dose that is forty times greater than permissible levels.

As a result, experts believe that they are at a greater risk of suffering from cancers.

Ruth Sinclair, store director at Specsavers Northallerton, said: "We welcome the children from Belarus into store every year with open arms.

"Regular eye examinations are so important and access to eyecare isn’t available in their hometown, so we’re delighted to be able to help the children whilst having some fun too."

As part of their visit, the children were taught about general eye health.

Ms Sinclair added: "We’re so proud to be a friend of the organisation, and play our part in helping those less fortunate than ourselves who come from such a disadvantaged part of the world.

"The children always return home with a smile on their face, healthier and excited to tell their families all about their experiences."

Friends of Chernobyl recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, providing annual respite trips for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

In May, the children part of the Northallerton group visited Beamish Museum in Chester-le-Street.