Father Christmas made a flying visit to the Oxford Children's Hospital this December, trading in his traditional sleigh and reindeer in favour of a Puma helicopter from RAF Benson.

Arriving laden with Christmas gifts, Santa landed at the John Radcliffe Hospital helipad onboard the RAF helicopter, greeted by waving patients and staff - many with their noses pressed to the windows of the hospital.

He was joined by a number of RAF elves, and staff from our charity, and headed to the hospital to hand out goodies to young patients and spread Christmas joy at his pop-up grotto!

Group Captain Chris Royston-Airey, Station Commander at RAF Benson, said:

The visit also highlighted Oxford Hospitals Charity's annual Give a Gift Christmas appeal, that ensures all children in hospital over the Christmas period get a bespoke gift (carefully chosen with the support of the play specialists as well as of course Santa himself).

Older patients are also not forgotten, as donations to the appeal mean that 1,500 gift bags for adults in hospital over Christmas are created, so no one is forgotten in our hospitals at Christmas.

Sarah Vaccari, from Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: 

The charity also works with schools and organisations across the local community. Local schools create Christmas cards with lovely messages to be shared with both patients and staff, and local groups help with the packing of all these special gifts.

Donations to the appeal also allow the charity to provide several hundred well-being packs and hampers shared amongst staff across the whole Trust -  a chance to say thank you to teams working hard in our hospitals.

There's still time to support Oxford Hospitals Charity's annual Give a Gift Christmas appeal