Easter is usually associated with chocolate eggs, bunny rabbits and the start of spring.
For many children it’s a chance to stock up on chocolate treats and gifts, enjoy time off school and go out in warm weather.
But for patients in Queen Alexandra’s children’s ward, the story can be quite different.
So one Portsmouth company decided to spread Easter cheer by organising a toy collection.
The items were then donated to the Cosham hospital’s Starfish Ward.
During the run-up to Easter, Access Self Storage, in Regent Street, Landport, set up the gift donation programme.
The storage company appealed to the people of Portsmouth to open their hearts and donate unused or unopened presents, games and toys from Christmas or other occasions.
A drop-off point was created at the company’s head office, where the toys were collected, sorted and prepared to be delivered.
Board games, books and cuddly toys were all donated.
And then the Easter bunny visited children in the ward to deliver donated gifts passed on by generous supporters and the store.
More than 100 gifts were donated and around 15 children visited the Easter bunny in the main playroom at the hospital.
Children in the ward suffer from a range of illnesses, which can mean they are not able to go home for Easter.
Kevin Pratt, marketing manager of Access Storage, said: ‘We were delighted to support this year’s Easter Toy Appeal.
‘Easter is a time to enjoy family and a lot of these children will not be able to spend it at home.
‘With this toy appeal we hoped that we could bring the Easter cheer to them in the hospital.
‘It was fantastic to see the smiles on the children’s faces.
‘It was such a worthwhile campaign to carry out over the Easter period.
‘Having the Easter bunny there handing out toys really was a rewarding experience.
‘We hope that the gifts will continue to bring even more happiness to the children in the months to come.’
Lorraine Morgan, ward sister for the paediatric department, praised the Easter donation as it helped to cheer up children.
She said: ‘We are very thankful for these gifts and the visit of the Easter bunny.
‘We appreciate the support of Access Self Storage and the community for their generous donations.
‘No child likes to be in hospital and this kind donation will provide a welcome distraction for them.’