BATMAN took a break from fighting crime in Gotham City to hand out presents for poorly children at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The superhero – otherwise known as Mike Skilbeck from Warndon – handed out 500 teddy bears to young patients at the hospital before making trips to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House – the facility that helps families who have children undergoing treatment.

The generous 36-year-old helped raise over £2,000 from donations and through various charity events during the year - including the annual superhero-themed fancy dress party.

“This year we managed to get a new Batsuit which was paid for from donations by 14 local businesses,” he said.

“We started doing this three years ago and it has gone from strength to strength, with more and more bears given out.

“There was a man who used to go around Great Ormond Street Hospital in London dressed as Batman handing out presents to the children but he passed away.

“We wanted to carry that on and do something in the Midlands and here we are now.

Mr Skilbeck spent £1,500 on teddy bears for the children and the remaining £500 on selection boxes which he gave out to their siblings.

“It is a really great experience when you’re at the hospital," he said.

“There was one lad we saw and he was having an operation that day.

“His mum said that the 15 minutes we were with him, it completely took his mind of it and he was just happy.

“That’s why we do it. We just try and bring a bit of cheer. Santa goes round the hospital every Christmas so it’s just a bit of change to have Batman.”

Batman's visit was not just a Christmas treat for the children, parents were equally as excited.

“It’s good for the parents too, especially the dads who were all saying that they’ve got to get a photo with Batman.”

Mr Skilbeck was accompanied by his wife Kellie and their 15-year-old son Cole who had been wanting to visit the hospital with them for a while.

Mr Skilbeck said: “We thought it would be an interesting experience for Cole so he could see that there are kids who have a hard time at Christmas."

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