He wrote his list, checked it twice, fired up his 592 shaft horsepower engine and flew his Gazelle helicopter over the Hampshire countryside and straight into the garden of the region’s children’s hospice.
Children and young people at Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices, were in for a big surprise on Saturday (14/12/19), as Father Christmas, assisted by pilots and members of The Gazelle Squadron Display Team landed his helicopter in their hospice garden.
A large crowd of the region’s life-limited and life-threatened children, young people and their families watched on as the helicopter made a perfect landing and Father Christmas clambered out carrying a large sack of gifts.
Every child was given an early Christmas gift and had the chance to meet Father Christmas and take a close look at the two ex-military Gazelle helicopters. Father Christmas then joined the children for a special party at Naomi House, handed out gifts to the children and families, and tucked in to homemade mince pies.
The hospices have released a film of the occasion, showing Father Christmas in flight, landing the helicopter and meeting the children staying at the hospices for respite or emergency care.
Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices provide respite, emergency, end of life and bereavement support to hundreds of children and young adults with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions in Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. The hospices, located near Winchester offer 24 hour care to the region’s most medically vulnerable youngsters.
The visit by Father Christmas and the Gazelle squadron is part of an ongoing programme of fun activities which take place at the hospice, ensuring that although the lives of youngsters visiting the hospice may be shortened, they need not be limited in enjoyment or fulfilment.
Keith Wilson, Head of Marketing at the charity, said:
It was a real treat for the children and young people to be able to get up close to a helicopter in the Naomi House garden. We are really grateful to the Gazelle Squadron for arranging the visit and if they are flying past in the future, they should feel free to drop by for a cup of tea. Moments like these help to make Christmas extra special and full of positive memories for the families we care for.
For more information on Naomi House & Jacksplace please visit www.naomihouse.org.uk