Easter treat for Norfolk-based military families

Lottie Mansel, 9, receiving some Easter eggs at Swanton Morley barracks

Lottie Mansel, 9, receiving some Easter eggs at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks where Tesco brought some cheer to the children of military families. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Easter fun was the order of the day at a Norfolk Army base whose troops are, or are soon to be, deployed overseas. 

A line of tables packed with more than 200 chocolate eggs was set up at Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, to provide soldiers' families a sweet treat.

A team from Dereham's Tesco Extra ran the giveaway and a member of bases' 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards donned an Easter Bunny suit and greeted the youngsters.

Captain Trevor Homer, unit welfare officer, said: "As you can imagine it's quite difficult for the children when they've got parents away on deployment. This is an opportunity to bring some of those families out and about and demonstrate to them how they are supported by the local community. It's very kind of Tesco to volunteer and help us."

Troops from the Queen's Dragoon Guards are currently on duty in Kenya, Poland and Louisiana, undertaking exercises with the US military.


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Around 120 soldiers from the regiment - nicknamed the Welsh Cavalry - will be deployed to Mali in June as part of a UN peacekeeping mission, in response to a Jihadist insurgency in western Africa. About 150 children of military parents live at the barracks, and other families live off-base locally. 

Among them are Laurel Hodson, whose husband, Sgt Luke Hodson, is already in Mali with the Light Dragoons. 

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She said their daughters, Savannah, eight, and Evie, six, were delighted with the Easter treat. 

So much choice. Grace Gurung, 6, chooses her chocolate treats for Easter

So much choice. Grace Gurung, 6, chooses her chocolate treats for Easter that Tesco brought to the families on the military base, Robertson Barracks at Swanton Morley. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mrs Hodson said: "We've been on our own since November. The communication is pretty poor, but we just get on with it. My husband is based in Catterick, but I'm local, so I was able to come back home. It's really nice that we can come and join in with everyone else here, we're really lucky."

Sandra Hopkins was also there with daughters Lydia, nine, and Scarlett, 12. Her husband, Warrant Officer Second Class Ross Hopkins, is on deployment in Louisiana. 

Rowan Flower and his brother Ramsay choosing a chocolate Easter egg at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks

Rowan Flower and his brother Ramsay choosing a chocolate Easter egg at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks on Saturday. Tesco brought hundreds of treats to surprise the children of military personnel. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mrs Hopkins said: "In the past year we've not been able to do what we normally would as a regiment, so it's lovely to see everybody come out.

"Even if it's just to chat to people for a few minutes and see where the're at. The community comes together when something like this happens so it's really nice to have Tesco on hand who support what were doing."

Hopping in to Swanton Morley barracks to bring some Easter cheer,

Hopping in to Swanton Morley barracks to bring some Easter cheer, Tesco handed out chocolate eggs to the children of military families. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Hassan Al-Ameri and Emma White with their daughter Eva who collected a chocolate egg from Tesco

Hassan Al-Ameri and Emma White with their daughter Eva who collected a chocolate egg from Tesco who wanted to bring some Easter cheer to the children of military families. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Cpt Trevor James Homer – Unit welfare officer at 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks. 

Cpt Trevor James Homer – Unit welfare officer at 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Eva Al-Ameri, 2, is offered some chocolate treats for Easter at the Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks, courtesy of Tesco.

Eva Al-Ameri, 2, is offered some chocolate treats for Easter at the Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks, courtesy of Tesco. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mark South from Tesco, Dereham donated hundreds of Easter eggs for the 150 children who live at Swanton Morley barracks

Mark South from Tesco, Dereham donated hundreds of Easter eggs for the 150 children who live at Swanton Morley barracks. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Around 150 children of military families live on Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks.

Around 150 children of military families live on Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks. Tesco in Dereham surprised them on Saturday morning by handing out hundreds of chocolate Easter eggs. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Eva Al-Ameri, 2, is offered some chocolate treats for Easter at the Swanton Morley barracks, courtesy of Tesco.

Eva Al-Ameri, 2, is offered some chocolate treats for Easter at the Swanton Morley barracks, courtesy of Tesco. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Lottie Mansel, 9, receiving some Easter eggs at Swanton Morley barracks

Lottie Mansel, 9, receiving some Easter eggs at Swanton Morley's Robertson Barracks where Tesco brought some cheer to the children of military families. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Savannah Hodson, 8, and Evie Hodson, 6, were excited to receive an Easter egg as Tesco handed out free chocolate to children

Savannah Hodson, 8, and Evie Hodson, 6, were excited to receive an Easter egg as Tesco handed out free chocolate to children of military families at Swanton Morley. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Tesco brought hundreds of chocolate Easter eggs for children living at Swanton Morley barracks on Saturday.

Tesco brought hundreds of chocolate Easter eggs for children living at Swanton Morley barracks on Saturday. - Credit: Neil Disbury

  

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