AN eight-year-old girl, whose grandpa is terminally ill, has sold a shell collection she made on holiday to raise money for Meadow House hospice.
Jessica Marsh, of Cawdor Crescent, Hanwell, personalised the shells with words like 'love' and 'peace' after collecting them in Portugal and raised £40 for the hospice after her mum told her about the work it does.
Jessica, who goes to St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Hanwel, said: "Mum was talking about Meadow House hospice and I asked her what it was and she said it was a place for dying people. When I heard grandad wasn't very well I wanted to do something for them.
"I collected the shells on holiday and started painting them. Whenever anyone came to the house they wanted to see them so I asked if they wanted to buy them, which they did.
"Then I went into Meadow House to give them the money and they were very pleased. They said they were very impressed with me and very surprised that an eight-year-old could do something like this.Grandad is very proud of me."
She said she planned to continue fund-raising with a sponsored bike and walk around her local park early next year.
Jessica's mum, Sheona, a community nurse on the borough's Twilight Service, which is also used by the hospice, said the whole family were touched and impressed by her daughter's actions.
She said: "Jessica's grandad was diagnosed with terminal cancer when we got back from holiday. She understands what that means, so she decided to sell her shells and set up shop in her bedroom. We didn't realise at first people were buying them. People were asking her to personalise them with different themes like love and peace.
"As her grandad had used the services at Meadow House Jessica wanted to give something back. They made a real fuss of her there and were so pleased. She's quite grown up for her age. Once she has an idea in her head she goes for it. This is her way of dealing with it and we are all so proud of her."
Lynne May, Voluntary Services Manager for Specialist Palliative Care Service at the hospice, said: “We were so impressed with Jessica’s fundraising efforts. She’s worked very hard to help Meadow House and we are very grateful.
"I understand Jessica will be continuing to fund-raise on our behalf and we look forward to hearing about her plans.”