Chernobyl Children in Kent

Children from the area contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 25 years ago have been putting questions to the Mayor of Ashford.

The youngsters from Belarus have been brought to Kent, and placed with local families for a month by the Ashford and Romney Marsh branch of Chernobyl Children's Lifeline.

The trip is designed to give their bodies a break from the radiation they are exposed to every day back home. It gives them the chance to build up their immune systems as food, water and air is still contaminated in the region.

The girls and boy asked Mayor of Ashford, Council Matthew French a range of questions, via an interpreter during a visit to the Council Chamber this week.

Cllr French said "It was an absolute honour to meet these children, boys and girls who can raise a smile despite what they have to live through."

Chenobyl Children was set up in 1991 and has brought almost 50,000 children from contaminated villages in the Ukraine and Belarus to the UK since then.

It will be hundreds of years before the regions from which the children come will be considered free of contamination.