Santa makes virtual visit to Sheffield hospital

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Excited patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital were able to share their Christmas wish lists directly with Santa after he embraced the digital age.

Father Christmas spoke to children at the hospital via a special video link from his home in the North Pole, with a little help from technology firm Cisco.

Youngsters and their families told Santa, who appeared on screen, what they would like to find under the tree on Christmas Day and also asked him how his reindeer were.

Meanwhile, elf helpers were on hand at the hospital to share gifts with the children and spread festive cheer in person.

Lisa Broxholme, a play specialist at the children’s hospital, said: “Being in hospital at this time can mean that children miss out on some of the magic of Christmas, and that includes visiting Santa.

“Cisco’s Connected Santa programme brings that all-important Christmas sparkle to the ward.

“It puts a smile on all of our faces and helps to provide an enjoyable experience for the children, their family and friends, at what can be a very difficult time.”

Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK and Ireland, said “We’re delighted to be working with Sheffield Children’s Hospital to connect a very busy Santa with some greatly deserving and inspiring young people.

“The bravery of the children we meet, and those who look after them is incredibly overwhelming.

“We’re honoured to be able to utilise the power of our technology to spread Christmas cheer to patients and their families at a time when they may not otherwise be able to enjoy the season.”