Children from an area affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster visited host families in South Yorkshire for the first time this year.
Five families in Sheffield and Rotherham welcomed 10 children from Gomel, the second largest city in Belarus, which borders Ukraine.
Their trip was organised by a new local group of the Chernobyl Children’s Project.
The children, all aged 10 to 13, visited the farmyard and adventure playground at Chatsworth and Magna water park in Rotherham, went blackberry picking and visited the seaside at Filey - the first time many had seen the sea.
Karola Gajda, CCP co-ordinator, said: “Gomel was one of the cities that was really polluted by the Chernobyl blast.
“A month away during the year, eating lots of fresh fruit, can boost the children’s immune systems for up to two years. And the interpreter who came with them said they are off much less with sickness when they go back.”
Jeremy Hore and wife Jane hosted two boys - Vova, 11, and Arti, 13 - at their home in Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham.
Jeremy said: “We enjoyed every minute of it and it thoroughly enriched our lives.
“It amazed us, the small things that put a smile on the children’s faces - a drink of juice, a bowl of fruit, a trip to the park. We didn’t have to go and spend lots of money.
“I just think it is a tremendous opportunity to support kids from a deprived country, to give them an experience that their interpreter said they will be talking about for the whole year, and that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
n Visit www.chernobyl-children.org.uk for information.