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Coronavirus: Easter on hold as chocolate eggs from public are stored to be given to ill kids after restrictions lifted

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Hospital staff with Easter eggs from the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation

Hospital staff with Easter eggs from the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation

A member of staff with an egg

A member of staff with an egg

Hospital staff with Easter eggs from the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation

The Easter bunny will be late delivering eggs to a children's hospital in Belfast this year - but has a plan for ensuring the junior patients get their treat later.

A children's cancer charity has 1,200 Easter eggs it is currently unable to distribute to youngsters at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, but is holding them in storage until the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Gerald Degnan set up the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation 11 years ago in memory of his late mother, and an Easter fun day for children at the hospital is a major feature on its events calendar.

However, due to the current restrictions on visitors to hospitals, this year's fun day, which should have been held last Tuesday, couldn't go ahead. Mr Degnan hopes it can be rescheduled so the children will still get their eggs.

He said: "We had a brilliant response from the general public who donated 1,200 Easter eggs to our appeal this year.

"Easter is one of our three main events we lay on for the children along with Christmas and our Super Heroes Day which is in June.

"Usually we give an egg to every child in the hospital along with their brothers and sisters, but obviously with the situation we find ourselves in now that has been put on hold.

"Fortunately I have a storage unit that the Foundation uses that we can store the Easter Eggs in until hopefully we can distribute them to the children.

"The eggs have a 'Best Before' date of the end of July so they will be fine for a good while yet."

He added: "Every year over 50,000 children go through the doors of the hospital and some of them have to endure some very difficult times, so we do whatever we can to help those kids and their families."

Belfast Telegraph