IT was a little extra sparkle to start the New Year.

The Mayflower Theatre’s chief executive Michael Ockwell took a short break from the pantomime to draw the winning tickets for Wessex Heartbeat’s Grand Prize Draw.

The charity’s supporters from across the country had been buying tickets throughout 2013 and raised £9,768 for the cause. David Thomas, retired, from Ashurst won first prize and was given £500 in store vouchers, while second prize went to Paul and Denise Whiteley, also both retired, from Blackpool, won the second prize of £250 worth of vouchers and the third prize worth £100 went to a winner from Dibden Purlieu.

Paul and Denise Whiteley, the winners of the second prize of £250, have been supporting the charity since Denise stayed at Heartbeat House when Paul was rushed to Southampton General Hospital after suffering a heart attack on a cruise ship docked in the city.

Heartbeat House provides a quiet refuge for families while their loved ones are treated at the hospital’s cardiac unit, which they can use for free for as long as they need.

The theatre is a regular supporter of Wessex Heartbeat and they will be hosting a number of fundraising events throughout 2014, including a variety show on Monday, March 10, and Dancing with Choirs on Sunday, May 18.

The money raised by the variety show will help the charity raise the final £100,000 needed to create a special heart unit for 16 to 30-year-old cardiac patients at Southampton General Hospital.

The unit will mean youngsters who become too old for the children’s unit Ocean Ward will no longer have to go to an adult ward, which can be stressful because they are usually surrounded by much older patients with very different heart conditions.

Tickets go on sale for Dancing with Choirs on January 6.

For more information about the fundraiser, or to book, call 023 8071 1811 or visit

• For more information or to donate to the Wessex Heartbeat High 5 Appeal, call 023 8070 6095, visit or send a cheque for Wessex Heartbeat to Wessex Heartbeat, PO Box 270, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6GE.

• Adopt a room at Heartbeat House for £20 a month.