GALLERY: Festive bikers bring Christmas joy to poorly children at Shrewsbury hospital

Revs, horns and Christmas cheer filled the air as more than 100 bikers made their way to donate presents to children spending Christmas in hospital.

Meeting at Telford Services on the M54 on Saturday, the Midlands Riders took the scenic route through Ironbridge to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to drop off a van full of donated gifts.

Their bikes adorned with tinsel, many of the riders got into the spirit by dressing up in full Santa suits for the journey, complete with hats and beards.

They arrived at the hospital to an eager crowd of families lining the roadside, and even got a supportive toot from a passing ambulance.

The group, which started up in 2015, came up with the idea of a Christmas toy run last year and they now hope to make it an annual event.

Organiser Kenny Egan said: "Last year we supported the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, but we like to diversify and so this year we decided to highlight the fact that there is a children's assessment unit here and children's outpatients.

"The presents will be donated throughout the trust, and some people on route have been kind enough to donate cash as we were passing.

"Every rider here today as made a contribution of one or two toys.

"The group started in Shropshire, so it's important for us to support the local trust.

"The most important thing for us this year is to highlight the facilities at Shrewsbury Hospital.

"Last year we went onto the children's ward and so see the children so happy with their presents was great.

"There was a girl in hospital last year who is part of Midlands Riders now, so she has seen it from both sides.

"It is a great event and it is so rewarding for us as well. It is our way of giving back."

Each gift was marked up with the gender and age it was most appropriate for, and the hospital staff praised the group for thinking of everything.

Among those waiting to receive the presents was Dawn Walder, from the Children's Play team at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

She said: "It's amazing, they brings so many gifts and then we distribute them.

"It means we can try and make sure every child has a gift to home with for Christmas."

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