Special fundraiser to feature hospice teen
A TEENAGER who has been going to Oxford hospice Helen and Douglas House all her life is to take centre stage at a fundraising event in aid of the cause.
Charlotte Myerson, 18, who grew up in Chilson, near Charlbury, first visited Helen House in East Oxford as a newborn.
Her sister, Emmy, her elder by three years, was born with a series of complex conditions including epilepsy and cerebral palsy and required regular respite stays.
Emmy was not expected to reach her first birthday and despite confounding doctors’ expectations and living into her twenties, she died on November 7 last year aged 21.
Keen singer Charlotte sang a song in memory of her sister at her funeral, and the organisers of Childish Things, the annual music and comedy fundraiser for the charity, were so touched by her performance they asked her to sing at the music night at the New Theatre next month.
Co-organiser Lizzie Pickering said: “Most years at Childish Things we have tried to include people that really matter at Helen and Douglas House, and the people that really matter are the families.
“It brings home to the audience the real meaning of the show and the real meaning is always the families that we are raising money for, not the celebrities.”
Charlotte, who has previously only performed at school, will share a stage with the likes of KT Tunstall, Rob Brydon, Stornoway and Newton Faulkner, the latest star to sign up for the show on Monday, February 4.
Mrs Pickering said: “I know that music is helping Charlotte in her grief over her sister and music is a very important thing at Helen and Douglas House too, so Charlotte brings to the stage everything that is important to the show.
“I saw her singing at the funeral and it was so powerful.
“She has a really beautiful voice.”
Charlotte is training as a carer with a company called Helping Hands, which helped look after her sister, before continuing her studies to become a doctor. She said she was “terrified, excited and honoured” to be asked to take part.
She said: “It’s a minuscule way for me to say thank you to Helen House and also a chance to sing on stage, which is something I would love to do.”
The teenager spoke about her many visits to the hospice over the years.
Charlotte said: “My memories of going to Helen House are very different to mum and dad’s.
“It was very much kind of like a holiday for us with an amazing play cupboard full of toys and it was very exciting.
“I didn’t twig that whenever we went to Helen House it meant Emmy was ill.” Tickets are available now for the music night on February 4, and for two comedy nights on February 5 and 6, with prices starting at £25. Performers for the comedy nights include Charlie Baker, Hal Cruttenden, Steve Shanyaski, David Armand and Paul Foot.
Comedian Marcus Brigstocke has also confirmed he will perform on February 6.
- Visit http://helenanddouglas.org.uk for more information about the hospice and http://newtheatre oxford.org.uk to buy tickets.