CHILDREN were given an extra special festive surprise, when Santa Claus dropped in by helicopter with a sack of presents.
Youngsters and their families gave squeals of delight when the chopper landed dramatically in the grounds of Martin House Hospice at Boston Spa, near Wetherby.
Former cricket stars Ryan Sidebottom, of England and Yorkshire fame, and fellow Yorkshire cricketer Jack Brooks, gave a helping hand as Santa’s Christmas elves.
Sheila O’Leary, head of care at Martin House Hospice, said: “Some of the children are too poorly or find it difficult to see Santa in his grotto and it is lovely to be able to bring Santa to them and for them to experience this memorable event.
“Santa arriving in his helicopter is one of the most magical visits to Martin House. The children and adults were excited from the moment they woke up. We all gathered in the garden to listen for the gentle hum of the helicopter engine and when it arrived, the children squealed with delight as soon as the helicopter was spotted in the sky. It is a memory they can truly treasure.
“We want to say a big thank you to everyone involved.”
Yorkshire private aviation company Multiflight and Yorkshire County Cricket Club helped to make it a Christmas to remember, at yesterday’s fun-filled event.
Multiflight and Leeds Bradford Airport joined forces to provide a helicopter and presents for the special treat.
Cricketer Ryan Sidebottom said: “It is great to be involved in this project. Martin House do amazing things for very poorly children.
To be able to take time out of my busy schedule to make this Christmas memorable for the children and their families at Martin House is a real privilege and honour for me.”
Staff and passengers at Leeds Bradford Airport donated generous Christmas gifts for the children and their siblings.
“It’s wonderful to be able to give the children, their families and the staff at the hospice a special Christmas treat and Multiflight is delighted to be able to do this,” says Linda Nicholls, of Multiflight.
“It will be a real thrill for the children and their families. It’s great that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is supporting the visit.”
Tony Hallwood, of Leeds Bradford Airport, added “It’s magnificent to see the children’s faces light up when Santa arrives with his sack of presents. We want to make sure they have a really memorable day. Martin House is a fantastic, deserving charity.”