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Hospital children help design Miss Hampshire’s dress

On Saturday, Larissa Hirst (Miss Hampshire) held an arts and crafts day at Southampton Children’s Hospital with her boyfriend Ian and stepmum Carol. 

Larissa comments: “They are both survivors of cancer and understand how scary, yet brilliant hospitals are. We wanted to give back and to let the children in hospital have some fun and relaxation in between treatments. 

The idea was that the kids could design the Southampton Hospital Charity logo which is a hand, and then I will use these designs in my eco wear as part of one of the rounds that takes places at the Miss England finals in August.

Seeing the children visiting and staying at the hospital really makes you realise how resilient and brave children are compared to adults. I will try and find any ache or pain as an excuse to rest, but these little ones were bouncing around the place with so much energy, despite the tubes and wires attached to them. It really does open your eyes.

Although the day was emotionally draining, we all had great fun. It was not just about the children though, but also about the parents having someone else to talk to, about something else other than hospital visits and sickness and everything else. It was good to just chat away about life and other bits with the parents, and give them the chance to have five minutes to grab a coffee while we played with glitter and paints. What I also discovered was that you can never have too much glitter and glue. Kids LOVE glitter – it went everywhere!

I am still very much in awe of the children and their bravery and it has really made me realise once again how lucky I am. 

I know their smiles had a real effect on my stepmum and Ian and it has made us all appreciate our health and happiness. I really want to visit again and keep coming up with ideas on how to occupy them during their stay at the amazing hospital that is Southampton General.” 


Thank you to the Toys of New Milton for kindly donating the books and craft goodies, and to Larissa for donating her time.

Read Larissa’s full blog here

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