Children being cared for at The Northumbria hospital received an early Christmas treat as they were visited by players from the Newcastle Eagles.

The Eagles, fresh from their BBL Cup semi-final win over London Lions on Friday night, took time out of their busy schedule to meet with patients and staff to spread festive cheer.

The squad spoke to youngsters being cared for on the children’s unit and emergency care and gave them gifts.

The visit is part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s programme of festive activities throughout its hospitals, which aim to spread a little Christmas cheer among patients, families and staff.

Rahmon Fletcher said: “The players always enjoy this time of year and visiting local hospitals is something we all look forward to.

“It’s very important to us that we are active in the community and this is a chance to meet a lot of children, and their families, who are unfortunate enough to be in hospital at this time of year.”

Ward manager Carole Clayton said: “We would like to thank the players for taking the time to visit our hospital today and bring some Christmas cheer to the unit.

“The visit is one of the highlights of the year and it’s a real treat for everyone.“Being in hospital at this time of the year is difficult for children so today has been absolutely fantastic for them and greatly enjoyed by all.”

Northumbria has been spreading some festive cheer of its own this year, with the trust’s Christmas programme being complemented by a video from ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’.