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Polly Parrot with Max and FloraTwo primary school friends have raised £470 for Basildon Hospital’s Polly Parrot appeal by designing postcards to help people stay in touch during lockdown.

Nine-year-old Flora Murphy and her best friend Max Ward, eight, love drawing and were planning to make greetings cards together before coronavirus forced them apart.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, the pair decided to raise money for the NHS by using their artistic skills to make postcards people could send ‘with lockdown love’.

They went on sale in the children’s local post office in Horndon-on-the-Hill and were an immediate hit with the local community.

The pair decided to donate the money to the hospital’s Polly Parrott appeal for children’s services as both have had siblings looked after by the team on Puffin and Wagtail wards. Flora’s brother, Felix, spent 109 days in neonatal intensive care after he was born.

Flora said: “We did it for fun and to help the NHS because many people were dying of coronavirus. We didn’t know how much money we were going to make but I expected we might raise £100 or £150. £470 is a lot of money. It feels really good because we know the NHS will buy things they need.” 

Flora’s mum, Nicky, added: “We thought it would be brilliant to give the money to the children’s wards as we know a lot of children who’ve been treated there over the years and Felix was there for a long time. The first day the cards went in the shop they all sold and people were stopping us to say they’d sent them to their parents and grandparents. We had an amazing response from the village.”

Clair Grayston, fundraising coordinator for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “It was wonderful to meet Flora and Max. To have raised such a great amount of money at such a young age is amazing. It was a fantastic idea and we’re all so glad they chose to support the Polly Parrot appeal, especially as the families have had first-hand experience of the brilliant work our paediatric team do.”

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  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex  SS16 5NL
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    Nethermayne, Basildon
    Essex SS16 5NL
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