TV actress organises charity walk for Southampton General Hospital

Sarah Parish, who lives near Alresford with her partner and their child, is raising money for the hospital following the death of their first baby Ella-Jayne.

Sarah Parish, who lives near Alresford with her partner and their child, is raising money for the hospital following the death of their first baby Ella-Jayne.

First published in News

YOU could end up acting next to Sarah Parish in a forthcoming major BBC drama.

Yes. You.

On the television, with one of the country’s most acclaimed actors.

Sarah is organising a charity walk to raise money for Southampton General Hospital’s new paediatric intensive care unit, set to open in 2020.

And she’s offering the person who raises the most sponsorship money for the event, set to take place on Southampton Common on September 7, the chance to spend the day with her on the set of BBC 1 show Atlantis, the second series of which is currently being filmed in Chepstow.

“If it’s a day when we need supporting artists then they will get to be in the programme,” said Sarah.

“I’ve done this before and the winners ended up being in a scene, dressing the wounds of an injured soldier.”

Sarah can’t guarantee that there will be a suitable scene for the winners to take part in during the visit – but they’ll definitely get to spend the day with her and the rest of the cast of the hit show.

The sponsored walk is the second event Sarah and husband Jim Murray are holding this year in aid of the intensive care unit.

The couple began raising money for Southampton General after their first baby daughter Ella-Jayne died of congenital heart problems in 2009.

The couple, who now have a four-year-old second child, Nell, have never forgotten the sky-high standard of care they received from medics and undertaken charity work for the hospital ever since.

Earlier this year they founded the Murray Parish Trust – and have set themselves the eye-popping target of raising £1m to help properly equip the new paediatric intensive care unit and boost the number of planned beds from 13 to 22.

“The new Southampton General Children’s Hospital will be very high tech and have everything under one roof,” said Sarah who lives near Alresford.

“It will be a centre of excellence to rival Great Ormond Street. The people who work in the current department are angels but the equipment is outdated.

“It’s important we give them the right facilities so they can do their jobs.”

Speaking poignantly of her first-born Ella-Jayne, Sarah said: “You never think your child is going to get ill. I think when something like that happens you grow up very quickly.

“Ever since Ella-Jayne died Jim and I have both felt that life can be terribly short.

“You can never know when something is going to be taken away from you, it makes you focus on what you can do right now.

“We’ve both changed. When it first happened we thought we’d never get over it – but the work we do in Ella-Jayne’s memory keeps her alive.

“So we hope to raise as much as possible from the walk. It will be last fun summer thing to do before everyone goes back to school the next day.”

To register and download a sponsorship form for the 5km family fun walk, which starts at 10.30am at The Flats, in The Avenue log onto themurrayparishtrust.com, although there’s no need to book in advance.

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