Actress Sarah Parish pays visit to Portsmouth schools performing in Wessex Heartbeat show

ACTRESS Sarah Parish took time out of her schedule to watch Portsmouth schoolchildren rehearse songs they'll perform on stage in a charity concert.

Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 1:18 pm
Actress Sarah Parish (centre) with pupils from Portsmouth High School Junior School together with (left) music teacher Becky Hill, Portsmouth High School head Jane Prescott and Paul Marshallsay, head of the Junior School

The 47-year-old, known for her work in shows including The Pillars Of The Earth, Peak Practice and Hearts And Bones, treated members of the choirs at Portsmouth High School and St Edmund’s Catholic School to a visit.

Both choirs will feature along with other groups at this year’s Dancing With Choirs show at Portsmouth Guildhall on February 7, organised by Wessex Heartbeat.

The event will raise money for the Heartbeat charity, which supports patients with heart conditions in Hampshire and other counties, as well as for The Murray Parish Trust.

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Actress Sarah Parish (centre) with pupils from Portsmouth High School Junior School together with (left) music teacher Becky Hill, Portsmouth High School head Jane Prescott and Paul Marshallsay, head of the Junior School

Sarah Parish and her actor husband James Murray set up the trust in memory of their late daughter Ella-Jayne, who died of congenital heart failure in 2009.

As well as enjoying listening to pupils sing, Sarah signed autographs, posed for photos and spoke about her career as an actress.

Sarah said she had a great time seeing the boys and girls who are helping to make a difference.

She said: ‘It was a joy to hear the children singing. It’s been a really, really lovely day. The fact they are doing this for charity is brilliant for them.’

Sarah Parish with Year 7-10 pupils at St Edmund's Catholic School

Talking about the work of her charity, Sarah said: ‘The amount raised is close to reaching £500,000 but our target is to get to £1m. We hope that will happen in the next year-and-a-half.

‘The charity has become such a big part of our lives now, so we will keep it going.

‘We have come together with Wessex Heartbeat, it’s their show, they did the show last year and it was incredibly successful and everyone enjoyed it.’

Songs that the children sang included Happy by Pharrell Williams, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, Rule The World by Take That and With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles.

Actress Sarah Parish (centre) with pupils from Portsmouth High School Junior School together with (left) music teacher Becky Hill, Portsmouth High School head Jane Prescott and Paul Marshallsay, head of the Junior School
Sarah Parish with Year 7-10 pupils at St Edmund's Catholic School