Portsmouth/Hayling Link  

Students Learn Chernobyl Story


On Tuesday 24th April, we arranged for our Liquidator to visit Mayfield School our guests from the Ukraine, Mr Oleksandr Shimansky and Ms Sveta Matsokha. They were accompanied by Our Stacy Lunn, Natalie Lunn and Chris Rickets, who all support our Link of the ‘Chernobyl Children’s Life Line’ charity.

From April to May 1987 Mr Shimansky was commissioned to Chernobyl in a role of a ‘Fire and Rescue Engineer’, dealing with both the deactivation of the industrial area around the nuclear power plant and also the burial of the ‘Red Forest’. He was awarded several times by the military unit he was subscribed to for acting in life-threatening conditions whilst carrying out his duty. Ms Matsokha was his interpreter for his visit to England, and works full-time as a teacher of English where she lives in the Ukraine.

The presentation they gave was to two classes of Year 10 students from Mayfield School, plus also a few Year 10 students from the City of Portsmouth Girls’ School who were invited to the presentation. The presentation started with Natalie Lunn (an ex-head Girl of Mayfield School) introduce Chernobyl and the work of the charity. Rosie Lunn (who is in Year 9) then continued to explain what the charity does and how they help the children.

Mr Shimansky, via Ms Matsokha, then explained about the horrors of the nuclear disaster, and how he and several hundred thousand workers helped clear the radioactive materials from the area. He also explained how many of these people are now dead from the effects of the radiation they were subjected to. Mr Shimansky also linked the nuclear disaster in Fukishima to that at Chernobyl. When they had completed their presentation, students asked many interesting questions, receiving very informative replies about Mr Shimanskys’ experiences.

All of the students and staff present listened very attentively to the visitors, and learnt a great deal, and not just about the scientific facts about radiation, but also the environmental effects on the landscape, but also the social and health aspects associated with this terrible nuclear disaster.

We would like to thank Headteacher David Jeapes at Mayfield School for allowing us to visit.

More on this article: The News - Chernobyl Story

More Photos can be found in our Gallery