Santa surprise by helicopter for poorly youngsters

Youngsters at a Yorkshire hospice were squealing with excitement when Santa Claus arrived by helicopter to deliver festive gifts earlier today (Tuesday).

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:07 pm

Many of the children are too poorly to go and see Santa in his grotto, so online marketing company Infoserve arranged for Santa to come and see them - in style.

Emmerdale stars helped to make it a Christmas to remember for children and their families at Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People in Boston Spa, near Wetherby.

Santa’s helpers included Emmerdale stars Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in the popular ITV soap, and Zoe Henry, who plays the role of Rhona Goskirk.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Santa CLaus arrives with Emmerdale stars

Multiflight, a private aviation company based at Leeds-Bradford Airport, provided a VIP Airbus H155 helicopter from its fleet of VIP charter helicopters to fly Santa in with presents, on behalf of Infoserve, an online marketing company.

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.”

Santa Claus with Emmerdale stars Joshua Richards (left) and Chris Chittell at Martin House Hospice at Boston Spa during his visit by helicopter.

Hayley Drake, of Multiflight, said: “We are delighted to have Jeff and Zoe on board.

“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 stars is sure to be a wonderful occasion for everyone at the hospice.

“We absolutely love being part of this special Christmas visit to Martin House Hospice, which is a real treat for the children, their families and the staff.”

Derek Oliver, of 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. We are sure the day will be enjoyed, not only by the children, but also their families, friends and the very hardworking hospice staff.”

Santa Claus arrives by helicopter

The hospice needs to raise over £9 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-limiting conditions, including respite care, emergency care and end of life care. Every year the hospice supports more than 420 children and young people and their families and also 150 bereaved families.

The Airbus H155 helicopter provided by Multiflight
Santa Claus meets Minnie Mae aged 3 months from Pudsey, Leeds, while handing out gifts at Martin House Hospice at Boston Spa, during his visit by helicopter. Photo by Gary Longbottom.