A CHILDREN’s ward has unveiled a new set of murals to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a purpose-built assessment area.

Commissioned by Sophie’s Appeal, a charity set up to fund the purpose-built Sophie’s Place area at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the ‘under the sea’ artwork was revealed during celebrations in the Northbrook Ward.

Mike and Lin Barringer founded the charity in memory of their daughter, Sophie, who received treatment on Northbrook Ward before she died in 2004, and said: “Knowing that we are making a difference to other families is really special.

“We feel incredibly proud of the Sophie’s legacy and what we have been able to achieve in her name. Sophie was a very sparkly little girl who loved bright colours, so we know this would have put a smile on her face.”

Katie Hulbert, one of the nurses, was there to help celebrate the 10-year anniversary.

She said: “Sophie’s Place has made a difference for both patient care and patient experience. We are able to effectively observe the children as they play and are engaged with everything in the room.

“It’s really nice for the children and their parents to be able to come into a bright and colourful area, which helps to make sure they are relaxed.”

The artist behind the murals, Kelly Griffiths, added: “We came up with the underwater theme because we were sure that it would appeal to all of the children. We even added some of Sophie’s lost treasure – special gold coins with stars on them.

“The project was hard work but it was all worth it when you see the children spotting their favourite characters!”