Family plans respite lodges in memory of daughter

Trevor and Julie Robson, daughter Nicole and Molly at the memorial bench for Jessica at Cramlington Learning Village.
Trevor and Julie Robson, daughter Nicole and Molly at the memorial bench for Jessica at Cramlington Learning Village.

The family of a teenager who died from a rare form of cancer are looking to continue supporting others with free respite care.

Trevor and Julie Robson, from Cramlington, are looking to build lodges in Northumberland to provide free respite care for ill children and their families.

They have sold their house, raised money through 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 – precious memories which have inspired the family.

Julie said: “It will allow children and teenagers fighting cancer and their families to have free breaks to spend quality time together and create everlasting memories.”

A planning application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council for three, three-bedroom lodges at Henshaw, near Haltwhistle, and 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.

Trevor said: “We would be massively grateful for any donations – from landscaping to fixture and fittings.”

Jessica was 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.

Julie said: “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.”