IN celebration of the 20th anniversary of Jessie’s Fund, the York charity is calling on Yorkshiremen to make one of their New Year’s resolutions a Jessie’s Fund challenge.

Throughout the year, Jessie’s Fund will be challenging you to do 20 things. Among these will be learning a musical instrument and maybe even holding a concert at the end of 2015 to show off new skills and raise money for Jessie’s Fund. Or why not join a choir or even sing once a week in the shower to celebrate the power of music?

Or how about organising desert island dinner party where the guests help provide the entertainment through their musical choices; or running a Jessie’s Fund quiz at work or in the local pub; or sharing a list of your top 20 musical inspirations?

The 20 challenges for Jessie’s Fund’s 20th year will raise awareness of the charity and its work with children across Britain and also will raise money to enable the charity to do even more.

Lesley Schatzberger, director of Jessie’s Fund, says: "It is 20 years since my daughter, Jessica [Jessie] died, and we set up Jessie’s Fund. As a musician, I’ve always known about the special power of music and saw how it helped Jessica even in her final days, but I don’t think any of us could have imagined the impact the charity would have had.

“Music is a universal language and can be ‘spoken’ by anyone at any time. Seeing a child who can’t communicate come to life through music is a very special experience and something that Jessie’s Fund strives to achieve every day. I am so proud of the work that Jessie’s Fund does and I know Jessie would be proud of what she inspired us to do.”

Jessie’s Fund was set up in 1995 to help Jessica George travel to the United States to receive treatment for an inoperable brain tumour, but she died before she could go. Jessica’s family wanted to use the money raised to benefit other children, so the fund became a charity to bring music to children at Martin House Hospice, Boston Spa.

In the past 20 years, Jessie’s Fund has provided musical instruments to almost every children’s hospice in Britain and music therapists for three quarters, as well as more than 6,000 music therapy sessions for individual children.

Writer and performer Victoria Wood, patron of Jessie’s Fund, says: “What I love about music is we don’t know what it is and how it works and that doesn’t matter. It’s a totally personal response. If you can give children access to music, no matter their difficulties, you are giving them a chance to celebrate their humanity, their energy and their sense of fun. This is one of the reasons I support Jessie’s Fund and invite you to join us in celebrating a host of achievements over the past 20 years.”

The challenges are only one of many different concerts, events and activities being organised to celebrate Jessie’s Fund’s 20th anniversary.

To learn more of what’s happening, visit, or @jessiesfund Lesley Schatzberger with Jessie's Fund patron Victoria Wood