Winchester Magazine Christmas Issue 2017 Winchester Magazine Christmas Issue 2017 - Page 90

P E O P LE MY WINCHESTER CHRISTMAS One to one with Sarah Parish here’s nothing like Christmas in Winchester, says actress Sarah Parish – who lives just outside the city with husband actor James Murray and daughter Nell, 8. T It’s been a busy six months for Sarah, who has been away filming two new series this Autumn. “At one stage I was spending half the week being Cheryl from Warrington for the sitcom Trollied and the other being a Renaissance matriarch in Italy for the new Netflix drama series, Medici,” she says. “Jim has also been away, working on Age Before Beauty with Robson Green in Manchester, so we’re looking forward to some down-time together.” Christmas at home is relaxed and fun, with stockings for everyone – including the dogs – before a big breakfast followed by an even bigger lunch and then presents in the afternoon. “I’m hoping to be a bit more organised this Christmas,” Sarah says. “Last year I did an emergency dash to the M&S garage at Four Marks late on Christmas Eve. This year we have a big gang of family joining us who will each be tasked with cooking something. I like Christmas to be hands-on, with everyone in the kitchen and lots of presents for the kids. “One of the best gifts Jim ever gave me was when we were rather strapped for cash and he learnt two of my favourite songs to play on the guitar for me on Christmas Day. He’s now really into fly fishing, so anything to do with that makes a perfect present for him. “Nell wants Heelys trainers with wheels this year. We have a lot of gravel around the house so I’m expecting to have to do lots of trips to supermarkets and be that terrible mother who lets her daughter skate down the aisles.” Before Christmas, Sarah and her team at The Murray Parish Trust will be hands-on for a fund-raising bash with Breast Cancer Haven as a host of stars come to Winchester Cathedral for a Christmas Celebration on 7 December, featuring actors David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Hugh Bonneville and Timothy West and soprano Claire Rutter. “Jim and I won’t be performing, so we’ll be running around behind the scenes making sure everything happens,” Sarah says. The trust was set up in 2014 as a way to support the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Southampton hospital, where Sarah and Jim’s first child, Ella Jayne, was cared for before she died in 2009. Since then it has raised thousands of pounds and is now working towards a £2 million appeal to build a new major trauma centre delivering life-saving and acute specialist care for critically-ill children. “We have delivered far more than we ever hoped for,” Sarah says. “It’s now a big part of our working life. Initially we hoped to make a small difference, but since then we’ve successfully lobbied Parliament for funding too and can’t wait to see building work start on the unit. “So many great people have been involved – from children running mini marathons to big corporate sponsors like Ideal Collection and Peter Cooper Motor Group. Every penny helps to change lives, and it’s very humbling to be a part of that.” The Murray Parish Trust is looking for corporate sponsors throughout the year for its programme of 2018 events, which include a golfing day. 90