Filled with Festivals, Marathons, Shows, Partnerships and a very Odd Ball, 2016 most memorably saw the launch of our #2MillionSteps appeal. We’ve taken a look back over the year and wanted to share with you some of the highlights of our busiest 365 days yet.

We were very excited, in June this year, to announce the launch of #2MillionSteps, our nationwide appeal to build a state of the art, children’s emergency and trauma department at University Hospital Southampton – which serves the South of England. Building on the recent success of our previous campaign to raise £300,000 to expand the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and add more bed spaces, this project was one of three chosen by George Osborne in the 2016 Spring budget to receive match funding.

The new department will become a major trauma centre delivering life-saving and acute specialist care for critically ill children from across eight different counties, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Sussex & Oxfordshire as well as the Channel Islands.
Watch the campaign video HERE.

Rookwood Festival & a very Odd Ball..

In June, a field in the heart of Hampshire hosted our very own music festival.

Frank & Fast from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Dodgy, Ward Thomas and Deborah Bonham, to name but a few, rocked the Rookwood stage and raised a tremendous £15,000 which kicked off our #2MillionSteps appeal.

You can read all about our ‘Summer’s Eve Live Music Fest’ and take a look through some wonderful pictures of the day HERE.

Well it crashed, banged, walloped & rocked its way into the early hours and every single bejeweled, bedraggled & bewildered soul left with a huge smile on their face. The Odd Ball at the Hilton Ageas Bowl – What a night!!!! Your enthusiasm, sense of fun and questionable dance moves helped us raise a gargantuan £68k so a huge thank you to all who attended. Read all about it here and take a look at the Gallery.
We would also like to extend an especially big thank you to our prize donors and to our sponsors of Rookwood Festival and The Odd Ball 2016 you are the backbone of the party and your generosity will help save the lives of many children down the line.

Hot off the Press..

When they’re not on our TV screens in their acting roles, Sarah Parish and James Murray have appeared to highlight awareness of #2MillionSteps throughout 2016. Chatting with the Loose Women, singing with The Puppini Sisters and Gaby Roslin, and talking to Philip and Holly on the sofa’s at ITV’s This Morning programme Sarah and James have spoken about how they have turned the worst heartbreak into something incredibly positive and inspiring.

Articles in all the national newspapers, the Huffington Post and many other publications have told The Murray Parish Trust Story and helped launch #2MillionSteps – Most notably this article in The Times gave a heartfelt, honest and inspiring interview with the couple which you can read HERE.

The Daily Echo have worked closely with the charity this year and have been pivotal in our lobbying of the government to secure fund matching and bringing news on our events and aims throughout 2016. This December they have partnered with the Barker Mill foundation to double the fundraising with up to 40,000 in match funding from the foundation.

Sarah and James were also guest speakers at the Paris-Smith Charity conference this year speaking about their fundraising journey so far.

Marathon Miles..

This year some extraordinary people ran a total of 295.7 miles through London, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and even Uganda collectively raising over £10,000 for The Murray Parish Trust!

In June Lottie Moore and Léon Milns took part in the Uganda International Marathon (dubbed ‘A race like no other’ with very good reason).
Fundraising for The Murray Parish Trust took this couple on a trip of a lifetime and we caught up with them to find out how this incredible experience has been life changing for them as well as all those that will be touched by their charity inspired adventure. You can read that interview HERE.

Kevin Cowell completed the London Marathon early in the year and Tracey Edwards, her son Jamie and eight-year old daughter Ruby took part in The Great South Run in October.

Bournemouth Marathon saw no less than 10 runners, Darius and his team (Sabrina, Catherine, Debbie, Dawn, Rachel, Nick, Joe and Laura) and Aga Plombon – all raising funds for #2MillionSteps

Fundraising partnerships..

We’ve met many wonderful people throughout 2016 and have formed partnerships with organisations and businesses who are consistently fundraising for The Murray Parish Trust.

The Ideal Collection became involved with the charity at the beginning of this year and together with Harvest Fine Foods, Hampshire Fayre and New Forest Spring Water have been donating 50p for every bottle of spring water purchased across their many venues as well as £1 for every children’s meal bought.

The Epicurean Collection, a group of venues, encourage donations of 25p for every child’s meal bought at all their Inns throughout the South.

We met Jeremy France Jewellers during Winchester Fashion Week in April this year when they donated a beautiful ring as a prize in the raffle. Since then the family run jewellers in Winchester have been fundraising for the Murray Parish Trust in many ways including offering jewellery cleans at any time for a donation to the charity.

These fundraising initiatives are crucial in raising awareness and funds for a charity such as ours and we are overwhelmed with the generosity and commitment from local business and communities.

Our charity partners are a group of very special supporters leading the way in changing the lives of sick young children and their families.
Interested in becoming a partner? Find out more HERE.

Named Charity for Events…

This year we have been delighted to have been chosen as charity partner for specific events such as Winchester Fashion Week who held a fantastic raffle in aid of The Murray Parish Trust during their grand finale catwalk show in April and Wine Festival Winchester who held a collection and a raffle for the charity during their two-day event at the Guildhall.The Hampshire Sporting Club along with QuoStar, chose us as their named charity for their dinner event in September. The Puppini Sisters after meeting Sarah on the Gaby Roslin Show early this year raised money during their show in Eastleigh.

The Theatre Royal in Winchester during Winchester Festival staged a wonderful Q&A session with national treasure Robert Hardy and our very own James Murray with all proceeds going to the trust. Take a look at James and Robert chatting during rehearsals and watch the video HERE.The Theatre are currently showing Cinderella as this year’s pantomime and are holding collections after each performance through till Jan 2nd with donations to be split between The Murray Parish Trust and their own youth programme.

Thank YOU!

So many of you have helped in so many ways to make this year more than memorable. You have tweeted funny foot pictures across social media and donated by text. Held cake sales, school fundraisers, raffles and fetes. Volunteered at our events, become sponsors, run marathons and raised awareness of our campaign throughout the year.

All of you inspire us and we are humbled daily by the kind messages, comments and support we receive.

We are very much looking forward 2017 and are excited for some very special announcements coming early in the year.

The Theatre Royal in Winchester is currently collecting donations after each of their fantastic pantomime performances of Cinderella till January 2nd. Watch out for The Ovation Rock Show coming in January to the Chichester Festival Minerva Theatre. Young singers and songwriters from Chichester Music Academy and local schools are performing to raise funds for Ovation Music and The Murray Parish Trust.
Film Expo South is heading to the Ageas Bowl in February for their second year and will be supporting The Murray Parish Trust during the event more details coming soon.

“This year has been by far and away our most fun & challenging yet. As a result of all the hard work our team at the trust have put it we have reached new heights in fundraising and next year we hope to continue to smash it!” – James Murray & Sarah Parish

From all the team at The Murray Parish Trust have a wonderful Christmas and see you in the New Year!

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