Father Christmas paid a flying visit to poorly children at Royal Cornwall Hospital with a little help from the Royal Navy.

A naval Merlin helicopter flew around the hospital at Truro last week, with Santa waving from the open cargo door, before touching down at the helipad.

The visit was part of a long affiliation between the children’s unit and 820 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose. 

Santa and his elf were joined by navy aircrew and engineers to hand out gifts and meet the children.

Lieutenant James Gillespie said: “We are delighted to have continued our link with the children’s unit and to do our bit to help those who find themselves in hospital during the festive period. I am grateful to the hospital staff and for the kind generosity of all those donated presents from across RNAS Culdrose and the local community.”

Most of the sailors have only recently returned from the north Atlantic, having been deployed in the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.