THE York Dungeon and Merlin’s Magic Wand have delivered an early Christmas present to York Hospital.

The dungeon visitor attraction, in Clifford Street, has joined forces with the charity of parent company Merlin Entertainments to donate a portable, state-of-the-art entertainment unit to the children's ward (although it can be used across wards).

The York Dungeon may be known for presenting the darker side of history, but during this season of goodwill and generosity, staff have stepped up to give back to the community.

Staff on the children’s ward were joined by the dungeon team to launch the new unit, which will be a welcome distraction to younger visitors to the hospital, especially over the festive season.

Dungeon general manager Marc Bell said: "Our team absolutely love giving back to the community, especially when it involves something as fun as this.We can’t wait to hear about how much the ward benefits from the unit."

Andy Jennians, deputy directorate manager for child health at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The unit is great for the children coming on to our wards, and I’m certain it will make a big difference in helping to keep them entertained or distracted while in hospital.

"Some of the children are unable to access the playroom due to illness, so the unit will help ensure they don’t miss out as it can be taken directly to their bedside."

Merlin’s Magic Wand Mobile units are designed to provide children, too ill to leave their hospital bed or ward, with the magic of Merlin. The unit "makes fun accessible and interactive" with a built-in games console and television, Lego and Duplo brick sets and storage for more games and toys.

"As part of our tenth birthday celebrations, we are delighted to donate this unit to York Hospital," said Merlin's Magic Wand.