SOLDIERS visited sick children to hand over chocolate Easter eggs.

Major Dave Walke, of the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) and Captain Paul Hopper of 7 Para RHA, who are based at Colchester Garrison, were accompanied by Sheila Kirkham during today's visit.

Mrs Kirkham’s late husband, Ron, 75, previously organised collection of Easter eggs for the Colchester General Hospital’s Children’s Unit and she is now secretary of the Royal Artillery Association.

Becci Wilde, welfare clerk with 7 Para RHA, said the eggs and money to buy them with had been donated from Garrison families.

She said: “It’s the Garrison’s way of letting youngsters on the Children’s Unit know they haven’t been forgotten.

“It cannot be easy for children to be in hospital over the Easter period when their friends are enjoying the school holidays.

“This is our way of trying to cheer them up at what must be a difficult time for them and their families.”

Graham Appleton, Children’s Services Fundraising Co-ordinator at the Turner Road hospital, said: “It’s always good to welcome back old friends.

“We’re really grateful to the Army for this donation that will benefit the whole community of our catchment area. It’s a great tonic.”