Video: Santa and Emmerdale stars' flying visit to Leeds children's hospice

SANTA paid a flying visit to hand out presents at a Yorkshire children’s hospice – with a little help from Emmerdale stars Gaynor Faye and Zoe Henry.

Multiflight aviation company and Leeds Bradford Airport teamed up to provide a helicopter for a treat for children at Martin House Children’s Hospice at Boston Spa, Wetherby.

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Gaynor Faye, who plays Megan Macey in the ITV soap, said: “To see the children’s smiling faces is what it’s all about, and we’re just bringing a little bit of festive magic to Martin House.

“For me it’s about getting here and meeting the families, but arriving by helicopter was an extra buzz and a great start to the visit.

“I’ve been a supporter of Martin House for many years, and I’m just in awe of the facilities here. It’s been wonderful to come here and be Santa’s helper.”

Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona Goskirk on Emmerdale, said: “Martin House put in an amazing effort and throw the best parties.

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“It’s such a great experience to see the joy on children’s faces – and the whole family – and it’s a privilege to be invited to join in.”

Phil Forster, Leeds Bradford Airport’s aviation development and corporate affairs manager, said: “It’s magnificent to see the children’s faces light up when Santa arrives with his sack of presents and Gaynor from Emmerdale has 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.”

Clair Holdsworth, director of care at Martin House said: “Santa arriving in his helicopter is one of the most exciting events in our Christmas calendar.”

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“The children, families and staff eagerly await his arrival and love to watch the helicopter circle and land.

“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 wonderful event.”

Monday's visit was under threat as the field used to land the helicopter in on previous Christmas visits is now a building site.

Boston Spa farmers Tim and Liz Clayton stepped in to offer an alternative landing site.

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