A York charity set up to help children all over the UK with learning disabilities using music has been nominated for a Yorkshire Children of Courage Award.
Jessie’s Fund was set up by Lesley Schatzberger after her daughter Jessica died from a brain tumour when she was only nine years old.
The fund was originally intended to meet the cost of treating Jessie’s rare tumour in the United States and was named by Jessie herself, but she died in May 1994 before managing to travel there.
Jessica was an active, bright music lover who remained positive throughout her illness.
She spent the last days of her life in a children’s hospice leading her parents to decide that the best way they could help suffering children was through music.
Mrs Schatzberger and her husband, Alan George then decided that Jessie’s Fund should become a charity dedicated to assisting seriously ill and disabled children through creative and therapeutic use of music.
She said: “You can just see the spirit come back to them when they are engaged in something they can do.”
Jessie’s fund now provide instruments for 45 hospices across the UK.
They have also trained 34 music therapists and funded 5,800 therapy sessions for suffering children.