Almost 400 Easter treats donated for unwell children by Greater Anglia customers and staff

Published on: Wednesday, 5 April 2023
Last updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Greater Anglia staff Simon Pope and Michael King hand the donated eggs over to hospital staff.

Greater Anglia staff Simon Pope and Michael King (L-R) hand the donated eggs over to hospital staff. (Credit: Greater Anglia)

386 chocolate eggs and sweet treats have been donated by Greater Anglia’s customers and staff to help put a smile on unwell children’s faces this Easter.

The donations, which also included Lindt bunnies, Haribo sweets, small ‘worry worm’ comfort toys and books, were given to nurses and care staff who work on the children’s ward and paediatric emergency department at Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital on Wednesday, 5 April.

Activity kits comprising puzzle and colouring books, along with colouring pencils and pens, were also gifted for young patients at the hospital.

The impressive volume of donations came from Greater Anglia’s customers and staff, who dropped the items off at ticket offices at Stansted Mountfitchet, Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Harlow Mill and Harlow Town stations between Monday 27 February and Sunday 2 April.

An extra box of eggs was also donated for the appeal by residents of the Waggoners Court independent living retirement housing development in Bishop’s Stortford.

The donation scheme, which first started in 2020, is the work of Michael King, who works as a relief ticket office clerk at Sawbridgeworth and Stansted Mountfitchet stations.

He said: “Our customers and staff are always very eager to help wherever they can for such a good cause – the past few weeks have been absolutely amazing, seeing the eggs and other donations piling up at our ticket offices ready for delivery.

“To know that we handed over almost 400 eggs and treats along with all the other activity kits and toys is nothing short of astounding.

“The delivery should hopefully put a smile on unwell children’s faces to make their Easter and weeks beyond a little happier.”

Helen Weaving, children’s ward manager at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “There is a lot of time and effort that goes into organising this collection - a very big thank you to Michael and the rest of the Greater Anglia team.

“The delivery certainly brightened the day for young people in our care on Dolphin Ward and at our children’s emergency department.

“There are too many to eat in one day, so we will be keeping them safe and handing them out to young people in our care over the coming weeks to give them an extra Easter treat.”

Ogechi Emeadi, director of people, organisational development and communications at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: “On behalf of The Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Charity, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Michael and the Greater Anglia team for all their efforts to yet again run this this thoughtful initiative.

“I know the young people in our care, and our people working on the wards, are extremely grateful for the donations, which have been very well received.”

In 2020, Greater Anglia customers donated 120 eggs and other edible goodies, which were given to local foodbanks due to COVID-19 restrictions which affected hospitals, which also dominated 2021.

In 2022, a total of 252 eggs and treats were handed over to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, along with a staff raffle raising £150, buying activity kits for the children and a hamper for the nurses.