Winchester actress Sarah Parish has launched a final push to find kind-hearted volunteers to help her raise money for Southampton Hospital’s new paediatric intensive care unit this weekend.
She’s organised a charity walk around Southampton Common starting at 10.00am at The Flats, in The Avenue, this Sunday.
Sarah and husband Jim Murray began raising money for the hospital 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 have undertaken charity work on their behalf ever since.
Earlier this year they founded the Murray Parish Trust and are raising £1m to help properly equip the new paediatric intensive care unit, set to open in 2020, and boost the number of planned beds there 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 The people who work in the current department are angels but the equipment is outdated.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.
“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.
“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.
To register and download a sponsorship form for the 5km family fun walk, which starts at 10.00am log onto themurrayparishtrust.com, although there’s no need to book in advance.