TWO South Lakeland women brought Easter joy to ill children with chocolate eggs, heartfelt messages and fluffy bunnies.

After seeing their appeal on social media, Kendal residents rallied to make donations for patients at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Kendal-born Sara Huck, who was treated at the hospital as a child, has run the Easter egg donation campaign for several years with her company Quay Property.

"It's nice to give something back. I have raised money for the hospital in the past, but this is the first time the community of my home town got involved," said Miss Huck, who now lives in Manchester. "With their support, we were able to double the usual amount of donations. The support and kindness of the people of Kendal has been amazing."

Sarah O'Malley, who lives in Kendal, got involved with this year's fundraising after seeing the appeal on social media, and kept updating the post so it could be seen.

Her youngest daughter, Eva, 11 months, has been receiving treatment at the hospital, and her three other children Hannah, 13, Connor, 8 and Alexander, 5, got involved in collecting donations.

The families of children at Dean Gibson Catholic Primary School, Kendal, which two of Mrs O'Malley's children attend, donated nearly 60 chocolate eggs for the cause.

"My children and I would go out and collect eggs or have them dropped off at my home. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of chocolate eggs, bunnies and books received. It felt so rewarding to be contributing after seeing and knowing what children requiring medical treatment and their families go through," she said.

The two women donated more than 250 items to the hospital.

Ms O'Malley said: "The hand over was lovely, and the staff informed us that they also donate to the siblings of children being treated at Easter as well."

"Following this amazing response, I'll definitely be involving the Kendal community in the Easter egg fundraising next year," Miss Huck said.

Joel Oxberry, Corporate Fundraising Manager at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to receive this generous donation of Easter eggs and craft sets for the children at our hospital.

"Many of our patients can be in hospital for long periods of time which can be especially difficult over holidays such as Easter. The gifts will definitely put smiles on the faces of our patients so we’d like to say a big thank you to Quay Properties and all the residents of Cumbria who donated the gifts.”