ABRACADABRA – magician Andy Cole enchanted youngsters at Great Western Hospital yesterday.

Andy, who is from the Cotswolds, volunteered his time to cheer up those receiving treatment at the hospital’s children’s unit.

He dazzled with card tricks and illusions.

Andy said: “It feels nice to be doing something like this and entertaining the kids. I usually do gigs at pubs and clubs, so, this is a completely different audience for me but it is an exciting challenge.

“It is rough for anyone being in hospital at this time of year, especially children, so I’m pleased to give something back.

“I have two young boys and I’d like to think someone might spare some time for them if they were in hospital.”

One of the children who Andy performed for was three-year-old Leila who was at the hospital with mum Fae Planton by her bedside.

Fae said: “She’s been really down today but seeing the magician has really helped raise a smile.

“I think it is a really sweet thing for him to come in at this time of the year.”

The hospital was delighted to welcome Andy to the children’s ward and would be pleased to have him back again.

Theresa Wyatt, GWH Play Specialist, said: “We do have magicians who come in throughout the year but this is the first time that we have had Andy and it is great that he has come to see us.

“Nobody wants to be in hospital around Christmas and something like this really helps to lift the children’s spirits.”

Andy, who also did tricks with red foam balls and lemons, said he’d be happy to perform again at the hospital.

He said: “It has been a great experience. Magic is something which people of all ages can relate to and I love performing.”

Andy is a member of the Cotswold Magical Society and is performing around the South West in the build up to Christmas.

l For more information about his shows visit www.andycolemagic.co.uk