Hospice which supports Northamptonshire children has urged people thinking of donating chocolate Easter eggs to consider alternative gifts

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Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People – which supports families across Northamptonshire – has urged people thinking of donating chocolate Easter eggs to consider alternative gifts.

The charity says most of the youngsters with life-limiting conditions it supports across the East Midlands are unable to eat chocolate.

Rainbows Hospice supports many patients who need to be tube fed, including Olivia Butler, three in May, who has a rare epilepsy syndrome.

Stacey, Olivia’s mum, said: “Olivia’s condition means that she is tube fed – and unfortunately can’t eat chocolate like other children her age.”

She added: “That doesn’t stop Olivia enjoying every minute she is here at Rainbows through a range of specialist activities provided.”

The hospice says only one in ten of the children it cares for can eat chocolate Easter eggs, because of dietary and medical considerations - and is asking people who would like to brighten the lives of life-limited youngsters to consider its range of Gifts That Give instead.

Gill Smitherman, Rainbows Donor Development Manager, said: “Gifts that Give is a collection of alternative gifts - like music therapy, hydrotherapy or a special trip out - for children, young people and their families.

“People can choose the gift they want to give and Rainbows makes the memories.

“ Chocolate lasts a moment, but our supporters can help us make memories which will last a lifetime.”

Alternatively, the Rainbows Amazon Wish List is full of items hospice children and young people really need and use every day, such as sensory books and arts and crafts materials, and there’s a price range to suit everyone.

Gill added: “If people have already bought an Easter egg for Rainbows, thank you.

“Some will be used as gifts for youngsters and their families, some will be used by the play team and care team and, if there are any left over, they will be used by the fundraising team for raffles, tombolas - and to say thank you to people fundraising on our behalf.”

To find out more, visit any one of the Rainbows shops or log on to www.rainbows.co.uk/giftsthatgive

Browse the list at www.rainbows.co.uk/wishlist