SCHOOLCHILDREN visited patients on the elderly care wards at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital on Friday.

The children went to hand out gifts and treats they and their classmates had donated as part of the Small Acts Of Friendship initiative.

Donations were also received from Hanover Women’s Institute, whose members asked the children to deliver the gifts on their behalf.

Each patient received a bag packed with seasonal goodies to help make their time in hospital a little more comfortable.

A spokeswoman for the initiative said: “The joy on the faces brings a real sense of community spirit as young and old celebrate Christmas together.”

During the afternoon there was also a visit from local musicians Dusty Bluebells, part of the Belltree Music Therapy Project.

Small Acts Of Friendship is a unique charitable programme of activities created by the Elderly Care Team at the hospital and the Friends of Brighton and Hove Hospitals. It helps elderly patients maintain dignity, social activity, mobility and wellbeing in hospital and better able to re-join the community when they leave.