Very heavy fog meant that Santa’s usual helicopter transport could not take off from Leeds Bradford Airport but a little Christmas magic was worked and all ended well.
“Our annual Santa helicopter flight to the hospice was thwarted by very heavy fog from first thing, and although there were early hopes the fog would lift it was not meant to be,” said a Multiflight spokesman.
“Thankfully there are some lovely people around and Leeds Audi stepped in to help at the last minute with chauffeur-driven Audi Q7 and R8 vehicles to take Santa and his helpers to the hospice for the special, eagerly-awaited visit.”
Once inside the hospice Santa and his helpers gave presents - provided by Leeds Bradford Airport, its staff and World Duty Free - to all the children.
“This special Christmas treat for the children, their families and the staff at Martin House Hospice is a highlight of our year,” says Linda Nicholls, Multiflight’s Charter Manager.
“We were delighted Emmerdale actor Zoe Henry could join us this year.
“Martin House Hospice is a fantastic, deserving charity which we have proudly supported for a number of years and the arrival of Santa, his little helpers and Zoe was a wonderful occasion for everyone at the hospice.”
Clair Holdsworth, Interim Director of Care at Martin House Children’s Hospice, said: “Some of the children are too poorly or find it difficult to visit Santa in his grotto and it is lovely to be able to bring Santa to them and for the children and their families to experience this event.”
Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s Aviation Development Director, said: “It’s magnificent to see the children’s faces light up when Santa arrives with his sack of presents and Zoe from Emmerdale added an extra element of surprise.
“We love to be part of this visit, creating a truly memorable day for children and families at Martin House Children’s Hospice.”
The hospice needs to raise £6 million annually to run the service, providing community care and also care at its purpose built hospice in Boston Spa, 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 illnesses.
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.
Last year the hospice supported more than 400 children and young people and their families and also 150 bereaved families.