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Royal visit to Southampton as musicals marks charity’s 30th anniversary

SOUTHAMPTON-based cardiac charity, Heartbeat, pulled out all the stops for its 30th-anniversary extravaganza, ‘Musicals from the Heart.’

The glittering show was performed at the iconic Mayflower Theatre recently. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, Royal Patron of the heart charity attended the event, as well as familiar faces from Heartbeat’s 30 years serving the region including former patients, members of the cardiac team at the Wessex Cardiac Centre, and loyal supporters of the charity.

The hotly anticipated event, hosted and produced by renowned Broadway and West End performer Earl Carpenter and co-hosted by BBC Radio Solent broadcaster Lou Hannon, captured the hearts of theatre lovers, who were all eager to see the line-up of Hampshire-based stars.

Among those treading the boards were Holly-Anne Hull, Lauren Byrne, Jacqueline Hughes, James Hume and Harry Chandler, who dazzled the audience with a host of well-known songs from the musicals.

Adam Hoskins served as the Music Director and conductor on the night, enthralling the audience with players from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

(Left - Right: Lauren Byrne, James Hume, Holly-Anne Hull, Earl Carpenter,

Jacqueline Hughes, and Harry Chandler)

Earl Carpenter was thrilled with how the night went. He said:

“What a night! We are all delighted with the performances and it was wonderful to get so many old and new friends to get together for an evening of excellent music and for such a good cause.”

The unique collaboration between Heartbeat and the Mayflower aimed to raise vital awareness of the cardiac charity, which plays a major role in supporting over 10,000 patients each year.

Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of the Mayflower Theatre, said:

“After an unforgettable night, Mayflower Theatre takes immense pride in having supported Heartbeat in presenting a feast for the ears and eyes. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who attended and contributed to making Heartbeat’s 30th-anniversary celebrations truly exceptional.”

Mark Ind, CEO of Heartbeat, expressed his gratitude, he said:

“We would like to thank Her Royal Highness, the cast and crew of ‘Musicals from the Heart,’ as well as the wonderful city of Southampton, for attending this very special performance."

Since Heartbeat’s launch in 1992, the charity has worked tirelessly to provide the highest quality cardiac care at the Wessex Cardiac Unit based at Southampton General Hospital. It was a true honour to mark this significant milestone in our history with such a memorable event.

“There are so many more people to thank too, this was a real team effort and I’m very grateful to everyone involved.”

Projects spearheaded by the charity include Heartbeat House, the charity’s 25-bedroom ‘home from home.’ The house is designed to support and provide respite to families of cardiac patients undergoing treatment at Southampton General Hospital and is located just a three-minute walk away. The facility’s annual operational costs amount to £87,000, fully reliant on donations.

Another Heartbeat-funded project is its innovative 3D heart campaign, revolutionising surgeons’ approach to invasive cardiac diagnostic testing. Costing £600 per heart, surgeons use specialist cardiac modelling software to non-invasively scan the patient’s heart, using methods like CT scans or MRIs. This process creates a detailed blueprint of the heart, which is then sent to a 3D printer. The printer produces an identical plastic model of the heart, providing an in-depth view of the organ and any potential defects.

Above: The Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie, meeting Heartbeat's

Community Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Tanya Harder.

Below: Left - Right: Tina Richardson, Events and Corporate Manager,

Lord Left Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson and Tina Tolley, Donor Development Manager

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