Letter to the editor: I am writing to you and your readers to encourage you all to join me and quit chocolate for the month of March as part of a new British Heart Foundation (BHF) fundraising campaign: Dechox.

Dechox is a sponsored challenge calling on all chocolate lovers in the south-east to give up their favourite sweet treat for the month of March to help raise money for the BHF.

Dechoxers are encouraged to raise money throughout the month by asking friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them to take on the challenge.

They can also donate the money they have saved from ditching a cheeky chocolate bar at work or that naughty dessert after a meal out.

I have been personally affected by the issues surrounding heart disease.

My father has had both a cardiac arrest, at the age of 49, and a heart attack two years ago, when he was 67, while my son, David, contracted a heart infection last year, despite having no known pre-existing heart conditions.

So I know the terrible effect that heart disease can have on a family.

That is why I am encouraging everyone in the south-east to join me and take part in Dechox and give up chocolate for the month of March to help raise money for lifesaving heart research.

It is going to be difficult for people who love chocolate, like me, but we will all be in it together and it is for such a great cause.

Anyone can sign up to Dechox for free at bhf.org.uk/dechox.

You can also take part on social media by using #DECHOX and sharing your stories and tips for giving up chocolate.

Join me and we can fight for every heartbeat together.

KYM MARSH, actress