YOUNGSTERS are joining the 'National Elf Service' to emulate Santa's little helpers - and raise money to improve the experience of everyone who uses or visits York Hospital this Christmas.

York Teaching Hospital Charity is set to launch a new campaign to raise funds in time for Christmas, when patients feel most vulnerable.

Pupils and staff at St Olave’s School, York, will be doing their bit to help.

Faye Loftus, team leader at the hospital’s clinical coding team, said: “We want to make a difference to all those patients who might end up in a hospital bed instead of at home with their families.

“If we can help make it better we will do, and we’re looking for as many colleagues and local workplaces as possible to join us.”

Anyone can join the National Elf Service to raise funds. It could be as simple as doing a festive bake sale. To get involved, visit:

The charity has raised £2.5 million to improve patient care and wellbeing, buying additional equipment and carrying out refurbishments across York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.