THE last time Charlotte Myerson performed in public was at her sister Emmy’s funeral in December.
But the 19-year-old took to the stage at Oxford’s New Theatre with singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner on Tuesday to help raise money for the city's Helen & Douglas House hospice.
Her sister had been visiting the East Oxford hospice since she was three years old because she suffered from a range of conditions including severe cerebral palsy.
Miss Myerson, who now lives in Worcester, but grew up in Chilson, near Charlbury, said: “I was honoured to be able to do something for Helen & Douglas House. They have been amazing, not just with my sister but with the whole family.
“Emmy was three when she first went there and wasn’t expected to live another year but she died just before Christmas aged 21. In a way tonight was quite emotional but I’ve just loved it and it was another chance to thank Helen & Douglas House.”
The performance was just one of the acts on show at this year’s Childish Things, the annual music and comedy night which raises money for the hospice and is now in its ninth year.
Among the acts to perform were comedians Rob Brydon and Josh Widdicombe, with music from Oxford band Stornoway and a cappella group Out of the Blue.
Mr Faulkner, who performed a cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as well as accompanying Miss Myerson with her rendition of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, said: “I did a bit of research into Helen and Douglas House when I was asked to take part and it’s just amazing. It makes such a positive difference to people’s lives.
“Tonight was fun and I would definitely like to stay involved with the charity.”
Helen House was set up in 1982 by Sister Frances Dominica to provide respite and end-of-life care to children with life-limiting conditions and was the first of its kind in the world. It was followed by Douglas House in 2004 which caters for young adults.
Childish Things has been taking place every year since 2004 when actor Tom Hollander, whose niece visits Helen House, put on the event to raise funds.
But organisers have said next year’s Childish Things will be the last for a few years as the show takes a break.
Kate Day, Helen & Douglas House’s events fundraiser and the show’s co-producer, said: “Next year will be the tenth Childish Things and what we feel is that a decade is a long time and we have had such amazing success that we don’t want that to diminish it.
“There are an awful lot of these charity fundraisers at the moment and we don’t want to push our luck.”