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Major step forward for Southampton emergency children's department

A £5 million project to begin

A £5 million project to create a dedicated emergency and trauma department for children in the south has taken a major step forward.

There is now enough money for building work to start.

£1.1 million has so far been raised by Southampton Hospital Charity and The Murray Parish Trust - a charity formed by Hampshire TV star Sarah Parish and her actor husband James Murray.

Sarah - still recovering from the broken leg she suffered while sledging earlier this year - gave a speech alongside her husband, thanking supporters at an event in Southampton.

Watch this report by Emma Wilkinson:

The Murray Parish Trust reached a major milestone in the effort to build a new emergency department in Southampton.

There is now enough money to start work on a new dedicated children's emergency and trauma department.

The charity was set up in memory of their daughter Ella-Jayne, who died from a heart defect when she was eight months old.

Sarah Parish and James Murray:

This will be the new unit which was planned seven years ago before enough money was raised to start it.

Overall, it will cost £5.1 million. The hospital trust has put in more than a million of that and the government has pledged to match the £2 million being fundraised by the Murray Parish Trust and Southampton Hospital Charity.

Plans for the new unit
Plans for the new unit

Jeneen Thomsen- Southampton Hospital Charity:

The centre will replace the the current Children's Emergency Department which doctors, nurses and families feel is not fit for purpose. It's too small and is located in the middle of the adult emergency department.

Building that'll be used for the unit

Builders have now started turning plans into reality. But another £900,000 still needs to be raised.