The family of a teenager who died from a rare form of cancer is hoping to build lodges in the Tyne Valley to provide free respite care for ill children and their families.
Trevor and Julie Robson have sold their house, raised money through their charity – Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness – and received a grant from the Aviva Community Fund to fulfil their dream.
During her illness Jessica Robson, her parents and sister Nicole spent time together, away from hospitals, in a caravan on the Northumberland coast.
Those memories have inspired the Robsons to provide the same experience for other families. “It will allow children and teenagers fighting cancer and their families to have free breaks to spend quality time together and create everlasting memories,” said Julie.
A planning application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council for three three-bedroom lodges at Henshaw near Haltwhistle. The first one could be built later this year.
The Robsons plan to rent out the lodges to help subsidise the free respite breaks and have appealed for support from local businesses. “We would be massively grateful for any donations – from landscaping to fixture and fittings,” said Trevor.
Jessica was only 18 when she died three years ago after a brave fight against Sarcoma Cancer. She started the charity from her sickbed to help other teenagers and children affected by cancer. Inspired by Jessica’s bravery, her parents and sister have continued her work.
Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness has now raised £160,000. Half of the money has been donated to other charities – the Teenage Cancer Trust and Sarcoma UK – whilst the Robsons support families by, for example, buying presents at Christmas and Easter for teenagers and children in hospital.
“Jessica was never selfish, she was always smiling and never gave up. She never deserved this awful disease and we want her spirit to live on,” said Julie.