A school has now raised more than £5,000 in memory of a treasured former student.
Jessica Robson was only 18 when she died nearly two years ago from an extremely rare form of cancer.
She had started her own charity – Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness – and used social media to raise money and help other seriously ill young people.
Jessica’s charity has been continued by her sister Nicole and parents Trevor and Julie, whose fund-raising efforts have been supported by individuals, local businesses and Cramlington Learning Village.
Its students (such as Elena Walker, pictured presenting a cheque to Jessica’s mum, Julie) have run, walked and cycled, baked and old cakes and made donations through non-uniform days and sponsored silences.
“The school has been fantastic,” said Jessica’s mum Julie, who accepted a cheque on behalf of the charity after the latest fund-raising efforts. “The students and staff have really helped us carry on the work Jessica started.”
As a result the Robsons’ dream of providing respite breaks for sick teenagers and their families is getting closer.
During her treatment Jessica spent time with her family in a caravan in Cresswell. “It really helped to be together, away from the hustle and bustle but not too far from hospital,” said Trevor.
The family have now identified a site in Northumberland where they plan to build a lodge, using money raised by the charity and some of the proceeds from the sale of their home.
In the meantime they continue to support seriously ill young people. Over Easter they visited Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle – where Jessica was treated – to hand out eggs, biscuits and presents to patients and their families.
Dave Paterson, Year 11 Learning Manager at Cramlington Learning Village, taught Jessica and is one of four members of staff who – along with the Robsons – will be taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness.
He said: “Jessica battled through every school day with a smile on her face. She is an inspiration – not just to students who were there at the time – but even students now who didn’t know her. She’s never far from your thoughts because of the type of girl she was.”