A balloon artist had an "awe-inspiring" experience decorating a Christmas party for sick children.

Brighton balloon aficionado Shelley Gates was selected out of 90 entrants to do the decorations for the festive bash at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Children receiving treatment at the hospital and those who have received care in the last 12 months were invited to the party at the Royal National Hotel in London - and each ward was also decorated with festive balloons for those who couldn't make it.

The Argus: Shelley making the balloonsShelley making the balloons (Image: Shelley Gates)

Shelley said: "It was awe inspiring from start to finish. 

"The plans developed through sharing ideas within our team and everyone all coming together to put it all up, all 30ft high up.

"The end result was like nothing I've ever seen."

The Argus: The inflatable entrance to the partyThe inflatable entrance to the party (Image: Shelley Gates)

She worked with decorators Rob Driscoll and Angie George who had a plan to build a sleigh pulled by nine reindeers made entirely out of foil.

Shelley owns Brighton balloon company Bright N Balloons and is a member of trade organisation Bapia which helped put together the event.

She said: "My background is in childcare so Great Ormond Street Hospital is one charity held high in my esteem.

"I was lucky enough to have my name pulled out to join the other 29 balloon artists."

While Shelley normally uses latex balloons for her designs, some patients at the hospital have allergies so the team used only foils to make the extravagant designs.

The Argus: Great Ormond Street staff posing for a picture with the balloonsGreat Ormond Street staff posing for a picture with the balloons (Image: Shelley Gates)

Facilities officer at Great Ormond Street Wesela Beljowa said: "The decorations are amazing, so beautiful and magical.

"Thank you so much for helping make this time of the year special for the kids in GOSH. We have now distributed the balloons to the wards."

She said the decorations at the main reception of Great Ormond Street are the "talk of the hospital".