Jessie’s Fund helps children with additional and complex needs or serious illness to communicate by using music. Music can provide a powerful and profound way in which children can express themselves and connect with the world around them. Jessie’s Fund is a registered charity working all over the UK.
What we do
We help children in children’s hospices to express themselves by using music as a language. We establish posts for music therapists, provide appropriate instruments, and offer training in simple musical techniques to staff. In schools for children and young people with special needs we give students the opportunity to participate actively in making music: they can create their own music, and then perform or record it. We place just as much emphasis on training staff in special schools to use music as a tool for communication and learning: in this way we leave a legacy after one of our projects. We also offer support to other organisations aiming to help children with disabilities through music, as well as to individuals who struggle to access music therapy.
Maxine Peake – Patron
Maxine Peake is one of the nation’s favourite actors. She enjoys a prolific career as a theatre, television and film actor, portraying a huge range of characters. As a writer she has focused on social issues and the stories of women who have achieved greatness in the face of adversity. Maxine first came to national attention as Twinkle, in our late Patron Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies. Like Victoria Wood, her roots are in the North: she grew up in Bolton and still lives in the North West. She says: ‘I am very honoured to have been approached by Jessie’s Fund to become their Patron. No-one could ever replace the extraordinary Victoria Wood: to be able to continue her work with an organisation she held so dear to her heart is an absolute privilege. Music has always played a very special part in my life, as a healer and an inspiration. To be able to reach out to young people with complex needs and allow them to communicate through the power of music is a must. What a wonderful and essential charity.’
Trevor Pinnock – Patron
We are delighted that Trevor Pinnock has become a Patron of Jessie’s Fund. He is not only renowned worldwide as both conductor and harpsichord virtuoso, but is revered as one of the pioneers of historically informed performance practice. He founded The English Concert in 1972 and together they spearheaded the revival of Early Music performance on period instruments. His extensive recording history of over 40 years encompasses many highly acclaimed recordings including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and Orchestral Suites, and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Joining Jessie’s Fund as a Patron he states, “I am thrilled to become a Patron of Jessie’s Fund. Music opens doors to feelings and communication in a very simple and direct way and the deep joy I felt when I first heard music as a child is what I have endeavoured to share with others ever since. The power of music is huge. It is for everybody and it is a safe place. The work of Jessie’s Fund with needy children is of the greatest importance in giving children a sense of achievement and self-worth, and I look forward playing my part.”
News and events
Podcast with Jessie’s Fund Director
The British Association for Music Therapy hosts a series of podcasts which are conversations with music therapists, or with those connected to music therapy….
Are you ready for an exciting change?
Change is afoot at Jessie’s Fund: in November our Director will be stepping down, while remaining very much involved in the charity as Founder….
Return of our in-person training course
We’re delighted that this autumn we will be returning to face-to-face training courses, having been almost entirely online since the end of 2019. We…
Neonatal Music Therapy
In November 2020 Kirsty Ormston started in post as music therapist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at London’s University College Hospital. The…
A school transformation
Our journey with James Rennie School in Cumbria started in what now feels like a different age, September 2018, when we started a conversation…
Reaching across the UK
Since Jessie’s Fund started on its mission we have reached all areas of the country, sharing the communicative powers of music in children’s hospices,…