Strumming up charity cash

APPEAL: Music teacher Steve Walker is holding a charity night in memory of his granddaugher, Isabella. (d31011209)

APPEAL: Music teacher Steve Walker is holding a charity night in memory of his granddaugher, Isabella. (d31011209)

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A SPEN Valley music teacher is appealing for help from local firms as he prepares for a charity night in the memory of his granddaughter.

Steve Walker, 57, of Church Lane, Liversedge, has been a teacher in the valley for more than 30 years.

His daughter Rachel, 29, a former Heckmondwike Grammar School pupil, gave birth to baby Isabella Dean in November 2010 but at just six weeks old she was diagnosed with a complex heart condition.

Little Isabella died just before Christmas after being cared for at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, aged just 12 months and four days.

The event has been organised to raise much needed funds for two charities which supported Steve’s family through thick and thin.

Rachel and her partner Mark Dean, who now live in Stockport, spent nearly 11 months at Isabella’s bedside and received invaluable support from the Ronald McDonald House and Heartline charities.

Steve has organised the band night at the Swan pub, in Liversedge, to raise money for both organisations.

The night will be compered by Batley businessman Mike Smith, of Mike’s Carpets fame.

Prominent local bands including Dean Barton’s Spirit of Smokie, the Britrocks and Steve’s Goldtops – comprising local musicians – have already pledged their support to Steve.

“In a small way, this is a tonic for us. It makes my 57 years on this planet worthwhile because people really want to get involved and give something back,” he said.

“As well as Ronald McDonald House, the Heartline charity is really good because it’s for the families of children with heart conditions of any kind.

“They have helped my daughter through this and they do such a tremendous job.

“The response from people here has proved that when the chips are down, folk have come out to support my family and I am really grateful for that.”

Steve and his family have been touched by the support already offered, especially from landlords of the Swan, Claire and Alan Cleverley.

He has appealed to local businesses to lend their support as well, in the form of donations and prizes for the night.

Steve added: “I’m hoping businesses will be able to donate either something for the raffle and auction on the night, or make a monetary contribution.”

The event takes place on Friday March 2 at the Swan pub, Bradford Road, from 7pm. For information contact 07704 320745.