School Fancy Dress Day!

Jess would be proud of her friends and teachers raising a fantastic £384 for a Children with Cancer UK by holding a fancy dress day at school. Jess loved dressing up, here’s a photo with her brother when they dressed up as Where’s Wally for World Book Day a few years ago. Ironically, it was the Where’s Wally Books that took Jess’ mind away from the blood tests in the early days. Thanks Westerton, fantastic effort!

Day of Memories – Thankyou Candlelighters

Today was the first ever Day of Memories that I’ve attended. I’ve been invited to a couple of, ‘remembering days’ held by other groups since Jess passed away, but never quite felt in a place where I could go. But I felt different about today’s event, held by Candlelighters. For the month of Jess’ illness , I saw more of the Candlelighters and hospital team than anyone else I know. And whilst being in hospital is no fun for anyone, the team really did do their best! I will never forget the kindness shown by such a fabulous team, so it felt fitting to join their event. All the same, I was apprehensive about what to expect. Like the other families, watching the event meant we are part of a club that no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place, and to be honest I wondered if remembering so many lost children would be too much; one loss is tragic, never mind more. But I was surprisingly comforted by the Day of Memories, the unity of it all and of seeing some familiar faces who looked after Jess so well when she was in hospital.

With it being my first event. I can’t comment on the differences between a virtual event and an in person one, but it running remotely meant complete strangers were spared my rather unattractive ‘bawling my eyes out’ look, so that part was probably a benefit . 😀 It was nice to see other people’s memories and to write my own tribute in the memory book too. I lit my beautifully fragranced candle and made a Jessica bracelet. It’s the first time I’ve done anything remotely like that since Jess was here in person, and it reminded me of times we used to sit and do things like that together 😀. When we chose to support Candlelighters with fundraising shortly after Jess passed away, I knew how valuable your service was and how much we’d already benefited from you being there in the short time Jess knew you. Today only reinforced my sentiments. Thank you for all you do. ❤️

We’ve Just Passed £20K!

I am delighted that we have just passed the £20K fundraising point and we’re still going strong 😀. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d raise so much (and be able to help a number of charities too), so a massive thank you to all those who have supported us! With the challenges that COVID has brought, charities need our support now more than ever.

10k Take 1

So today was the original date for the Team Jess Sheffield 10k to raise money for Children with Cancer UK. Sadly, ‘corona chaos’ means that the event has been postponed until next year. Whilst we will patiently wait and run as planned next year, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to mark the original date with a run too. It might not have been the 10k we had planned, or even the reworked plan that we had planned (another strike from corona chaos!), but it was a mighty fine work around with independent runs happening across the north and coming together via zoom afterwards. Thanks to this lovely bunch for doing a virtual 10k event with me….. and a special shout out to Sandy for completing your first ever 10k. Jess would have loved that we managed to find a way to run in spite of the challenges. Thanks to all those who sponsored us…… It seems that with us running two races, the 2 for 1 concept is infiltrating even the sporting world these days 😂. As for all events these days, I’ve marked the event with a poem. Click here to take a look.

For anyone wanting to see some live video evidence, here you are! We’ve even added the trusty Team Jess Anthem to recreate the running experience!

3k in!
6.5k in!

Going from Strength to Strength… or should I say Length to Length!

A massive well done to Jack, school friend of Jess and son of one of the Team Jess runners. Not only has Jack been running each week to help his mum train for the Team Jess runs, but he’s also managed to find time to complete a sponsored swim too! Jack jumped into the water with his friend Euan to raise funds for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK, swimming 1500 metres (a phenomenal 60 lengths!) in memory of friends and family affected by cancer and Team Jess.  That will make a massive splash as it jumps into the fundraising pots of both charities. Well done Jack and thank you for being a super fundraiser… with a swim and lots of runs under your belt, maybe your next venture should be a triathlon….. 😉

Published Again!

A huge thank you to Pomfretian for their kind donation to the Team Jess fundraising and for publishing a centre page spread about the Team Jess campaign in this month’s edition too. Jess has been in two publications now and they say things comes in threes. I wonder who could be next 🤔. To read the article visit the Pomfretian website.

Open Water Sponsored Swimming

Team Jess is in full flow with fundraising and today sees another venture take the plunge in raising funds in memory of Jess.

On 5 September, one of Jess’ Grandads, Brian, will be swimming the full length of Coniston Water which is in excess of 5 miles! Open water swimming , as anyone who’s had a go knows, is no easy undertaking, so he really is jumping in at the deep end! What’s more, if COVID 19 means the organised event is cancelled, he’s planning to swim the same distance in a local lake instead. If you want to support Brian in his fundraising for Children with Cancer UK, or read more of his story, you can click here.

School Friends Making Positive Memories


Little did I know it (until now!), but since Christmas, one of Jess’ school friends and her sister have been busy raising money in memory of Jess in all sorts of inventive ways, determined to channel sadness into making a difference. For example, at Christmas, they made and sold crafts and donated the proceeds directly to Candlelighters in Jessica’s memory and they’ve recently made crayons for Isla to sell at school. Furthermore their Dad kindly donated £26 directly to Candlelighters- £1 to represent every mile of the London Marathon he would have run had the event not been cancelled, meaning he had to do a shorter local run instead. What inventive ideas. Thank you! 

This isn’t the first time that school friends have  gone the extra mile (in some cases literally) to make memories whilst raising funds at the same time. In October last year, two of Jess’ school friends, Billy and Charlie, did the Leeds Abbey Junior Dash in memory or Jess. The fantastic £120 that they raised was donated to Candlelighters together with the funeral fundraising. Another pair of superstars, thank you!

Continue reading “School Friends Making Positive Memories”

Thank you Westerton Primary Academy

I had a lovely chat with Jessica’s school yesterday about ideas they have to commemorate Jess and to help her memory live on. They had some wonderful suggestions about things they could do, as well as some fun fundraising ideas too. We look forward to coming back to see you next year (even if Jess’ big brother will be embarking on the brave new world of high school!) to celebrate Jess’ time at a school. Thank you Westerton Primary Academy for coming up with (what I’m sure would have been ) Jess approved ideas. 😀

Team Jess Anthem

I couldn’t believe it when I logged on to my emails to find a ‘Team Jess’ running track in my inbox, written and performed by my very talented colleague and friend Trevor, with backing vocals from his wife and daughter too! Wow! Whilst not his normal style (this is not Trev’s first performing venture!) the quick beat will help me keep going when the going gets tough… especially round those hills in Sheffield! Thanks Trev, you’re a legend!