Idris Elba and Rita Ora spread festive cheer at Evelina London

Friday 21 December 2018

Idris Elba dressed as Father Christmas with patient Ryan Carter

Hollywood actor, Idris Elba, and pop star, Rita Ora, have delivered Christmas presents to patients at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

The superstar duo donned Father Christmas and Mother Claus outfits to visit patients and their families on the hospital’s Savannah and Snow Fox wards and in Penguin outpatients clinic.

During the visit the pair spoke to patients, families and staff about spending time at Evelina London over the festive period.

Idris Elba said: “Giving back and helping others is really important to me. I know this time of year can be really difficult for patients and their families so I wanted to do something that would help to lift their spirits. I’m a father of two, which really brings home the stories of the children and families here at Evelina London.”

Idris spoke to Evelina London patient Ryan Carter who was admitted to the hospital for a heart operation. Ryan, 10, said: “I’m a huge fan of Idris. I had no idea he was coming. This was the best surprise in the world.”

Marian Ridley, director of Evelina London, said: “We are extremely grateful to Idris Elba and Rita Ora for spending time with our patients and for their very generous gifts. Our patients, families and staff were very delighted to see them.

“Spending any time in hospital during the Christmas period can be extremely tough so their visit has helped to bring real joy to our patients and their families, during what can be an extremely difficult time in their lives.

“Our wonderful staff are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients all year and we are so thankful for their dedication.”

Next year Evelina London turns 150. The hospital was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.  

Evelina London cares for children and young people from before birth, throughout childhood and into adult life. The hospital provides a range of services to children across south London and south east England. Evelina London also provides community services to children and their families in Lambeth and Southwark.

This is the second year Idris Elba has delivered Christmas presents to children spending time in hospital. Last year he visited a children’s hospital in East London with the rapper Stormzy.

Last updated: March 2022

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