Four children from Helston received the best Christmas present they could have wished for this year - a chance to spend the holiday with their dad.

The Groseley family were given a surprise reunion with their Royal Navy-serving father Richard, after not seeing him since the beginning of August.

Parc Eglos School pupils Reuben, nine, Poppy, nine, Daisy, seven and six-year-old Johan had thought their dad's return had been delayed, so had no idea that when they visited Santa just before Christmas that someone special would be waiting for them.

As they spoke with Santa in his grotto, Rich appeared through the door behind them - to cries of delight from his shocked children.

The surprise was carried out at Lapland UK, organised by the charity Little Troopers that supports families of serving military personnel.

Mum Felicity Groseley told the Packet: "The kids didn't know anything about it; it was a really amazing surprise. They thought their dad wasn't going to be back from Christmas, that he'd been delayed, and that they were getting a day out for that reason.

"Father Christmas brought him in and it was amazing. After the cameras finished Poppy was really tearful. It was lovely to watch."

Rich, normally based in the fire station at RNAS Culdrose, had been seconded to the USS America and been serving abroad since August 5.

Felicity said their children had been "really good" about the four-month absence and so when she heard about a competition being run by Little Troopers, to reunite two military families in time for Christmas, she was really keen to win it for them.

"They really deserved it," she said.

Due to the day being such a whirlwind, the children were invited back to the snow-covered park at Ascot a week later, to get the full experience of cooking with Mother Christmas, making toys with the elves and petting huskies.

Louise Fetigan, founder of the Little Troopers said: "It was so lovely to witness two military families being reunited for Christmas.

"Hundreds of families will have Christmas without mum or dad at home this year due to deployment with the Army, Royal Navy and RAF. I started Little Troopers to help these families through the time they spend apart. which is always difficult but is always felt more during the festive period."