ACTORS turned multi-million pound fundraisers Sarah Parish and Jim Murray have today launched an appeal to raise £5.5 million for Southampton Children’s Hospital.

The Murray Parish Trust’s latest challenge will fund a revolutionary intra-operative MRI (iMRI) Suite to advance the treatment and care of children across the region and beyond.

It follows their previous campaign which saw them partner with Southampton Hospital Charity to raise the £2 million needed to build a dedicated and world-class Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department at University Hospital Southampton.

The husband and wife team, well known faces to TV audiences having starred in the likes of Broadchurch, Cutting It, Coronation Street and Mistresses, launched the charity as a tribute to their eldest daughter Ella-Jayne who they lost to a congenital heart defect aged just eight months. She had spent almost half of her short life in the city’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, the nearest specialist centre to their home near Alresford.

“We are delighted to announce our latest appeal. It’s our biggest and most ambitious yet and will see Southampton Children’s Hospital placed amongst the country’s leading paediatric centres of excellence,” they told the Daily Echo.

The revolutionary new equipment would make the hospital one of just a small number of next generation centres for paediatric neurosurgery and pioneering research using the state of the art technology.

Dr Aabir Chakraborty, lead consultant in paediatric neurosurgery, added: “The intra-operative MRI will transform paediatric neurosurgery at Southampton Children’s Hospital. The iMRI will be revolutionary in providing the most accurate surgical procedures and, when not in use for emergency paediatrics the iMRI will be used for routine scanning and adult neurosurgery. This new state-of-the-art equipment will also enable Southampton Hospital to become a pioneer in robotic neurosurgery.”