Swindon teens’ loving tribute to their late mother

Big event: The teenagers with teacher Nathan Jones Picture: Stuart Harrison

Big event: The teenagers with teacher Nathan Jones Picture: Stuart Harrison Buy this photo

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @SwindonAdver007

WHEN teenagers Simone and Bryce Chamberlain lost their beloved mum Shelley to cancer just three months ago, they were determined to make her proud.

And so the pair, who attend Isambard Community School in Redhouse, have joined forces with their teachers to host a Valentine’s Ball. It is hoped the event will raise £3,000 for the Prospect Hospice, where their mum was cared for before she passed away in October at the age of just 41.

Simone, 14, and Bryce, 13, of Abbey Meads, have helped organise every aspect of the event, from designing the tickets and posters to promote it, to organising the entertainment and catering. They’ve been helped by music teacher Nathan Jones, who has his own band, and academic mentor Helen Boddy.

Simone, a talented singer, will even open the show with her own rendition of Adele’s Skyfall before performances from The Nathan Jones All Stars Jazz Band, a two-course dinner and an auction. Simone said: “I’m feeling a little bit nervous. I have singing lessons at school, and it is what I want to do. I like Rihanna.

“I think our mum would have been really proud of what we are doing.

“We wanted to do something for Prospect Hospice – mum was there for about two weeks before she died. I liked it there, all the people are really nice.”

Shelley was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2008 and married partner Lee in June 2009. In November 2011, she was told the cancer had spread to her brain and lungs and she passed away on October 11 last year. Her funeral took place on October 29 – what would have been her 42nd birthday.

Helen Boddy, who is helping Simone and Bryce organise the event, said: “They have dealt with it amazingly, they have only missed one day of school. They are amazing.

“The last year of Shelley’s life was very difficult. She spent so much time having treatment and it was a very difficult time for the whole family.

“They wanted to do something right from the beginning so they came to us, and we decided to do a Valentine’s Ball. They were a bit nervous at first but they have worked so hard on it.

“Simone is a fantastic singer. She did a rehearsal last week and she was note perfect.”

Nathan, who teaches Simone, said his band has performed approximately 70 times in the past three years, but he is particularly looking forward to the event on February 14.

“It is going to be great,” he said. “It’s really nice to come to school and be able to bring the two together with a bit of my work life and my hobby.”

Tickets are £15 each, which includes a two course meal, and everybody is welcome to attend to help raise money for Prospect Hospice. To purchase tickets, contact Helen by email at helenboddy@isambard.swindon.sch.uk. For more information about Prospect, visit www.prospect-hospice.net.

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