Children were delighted to see Santa Claus arrive in a helicopter for a special visit to a children’s hospice.
Emmerdale and Yorkshire County Cricket Club stars helped to make it a Christmas to remember for children at Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa.
Multiflight provided a Dauphin helicopter from its fleet of VIP charter helicopters to fly Santa in with presents, with help from Emmerdale actress Katherine Dow Blyton, who plays Harriet Finch, and cricket stars Steven Patterson and Matthew Fisher.
They all arrived bearing gifts, after a surprise landing in a field near to the Boston Spa hospice.
They were met by delighted children, parents, family members and hospice staff.
Clair Holdsworth, director of care at Martin House, said: “Santa arriving in his helicopter is one of the highlights of our Christmas calendar.
“Many of the children who come to Martin House are too poorly or find it difficult to visit Santa in his grotto, so it is lovely to be able to bring Santa to them in such a special way.
“Santa’s visit to Martin House in a helicopter is a special memory the whole family can treasure, and we want to say a big thank you to everyone involved in making it happen.”
Linda Nicholls, of Multiflight, said: “We love being part of this special annual Christmas treat for the children, their families and the staff at Martin House Hospice; it is a highlight of our year.
”Martin House Hospice is a fantastic, deserving charity which we have proudly supported for a number of years and the arrival of Santa and the Emmerdale and cricket stars made it a wonderful occasion for everyone at the hospice.”
Mark Arthur, Yorkshire County Cricket Club CEO, said: “We’re about making sure that all children have the best possible Christmas and this event certainly goes a long way towards making that happen.
“It’s incredible to see the smiles on their faces, whether through cricket directly or by the vast amount of community work we engage in all year round. Once again and, as we have for the last few years, it’s a privilege to play a small part in this.
“Our only hope is that the day is enjoyed, not only by the children, but also their families, friends and the incredibly hardworking staff at Martin House Hospice.”
Infoserve, an online marketing company based in Leeds and Darlington, provided the festive gifts.
Derek Oliver, from Infoserve, said: “Christmas is a special time for families and Infoserve is very pleased to be able to support this memorable day for children and families at Martin House Children’s Hospice by providing the presents. It’ll be great to see the children’s faces light up when Santa arrives by helicopter with his sack of gifts and know we are part of it all.”
The hospice needs to raise over £8 million annually to run the service, providing community care and also care at its purpose-built hospice in Boston Spa, Wetherby, for children and young people across West, East and North Yorkshire.
Martin House offers family-led care for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. It is a place where children, young people and their families can stay from time-to-time along their journey and find support, rest and practical help.
Every year the hospice supports more than 420 children and young people and their families from across Yorkshire and also support 150 bereaved families.