Young hospital patients and their families had a chance to forget about their problems and get into the festive spirit.

More than 200 people went along to the second Christmas party organised by Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.

The celebration at the Brighton Hilton Metropole included a visit from Father Christmas and Spongebob Squarepants and entertainment from a DJ, a clown, face-painters and the Balloon Hero.

See more pictures from the party in The Argus picture gallery.

The event was organised by the hospital’s team of play specialists who were supported by the children’s charities, Rockinghorse and Starlight.

The hotel donated the use of the room for free.

Hospital play specialist Gayle Mulley said: “It was a great success.

“It was a lot bigger than last year’s and everyone was having a great time.

“It was nice to see the children and their families away from a hospital setting and get a chance to simply enjoy themselves.

“The parents were also able to get together, have a chat and swap stories.

“They have all been going through the same experiences and so it is good to be able to talk to others who will understand.

“There were a lot of smiles throughout the party and it was a lot of fun.

“We are really pleased with how it all went and this will definitely now be an annual thing.

“We would like to thank everyone who volunteered to help out on the day and for all those who supported us.”

The new Royal Alex reopened in the grounds of Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton five years ago and provides specialist care for children.

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