Charity rock festival set to mark seventh birthday of music-loving George who died from leukaemia

A DAY of live music will mark a very special birthday celebration in memory of six-year-old George O’Shaughnessy, who died last year.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
George O'Shaugnessy died in August aged six after battling leukaemia for years - his family have set up George's Rockstars in his memory, raising funds for music therapy for children in hospital

A long battle with leukaemia meant that George spent a large majority of his childhood in hospital but despite this was known for his smile and love of music.

As George would have had his seventh birthday on January 30, a half-day festival called George’s Birthday Rock Out has been planned on Saturday, February 1, to celebrate the occasion and raise funds for an organisation set up in his name.

Parents Amy and Craig, who live in Waltham Chase, set up George’s Rockstars in his memory after he passed away in August 2019, aiming to bring music therapy to children in Queen Alexandra and Southampton General Hospitals.

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George's Birthday Rock Out will celebrate what would have been George O'Shaugnessy's seventh birthday, to raise funds for George's Rockstars. Pictured: George O'Shaughnessy with sister Isabella, five

The family moved to the village from Baffins because they wanted George to attend smaller school Curdridge Primary, where he would be at lesser risk of catching illnesses, and he received a lot of support there.

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Operating department practitioner Amy said: ‘We knew we wanted to do something in George’s memory, we wanted it to fit George and also help kids in hospital and didn’t want to limit it to oncology.

‘George had music therapy when he had his bone marrow transplant in Bristol, it was the highlight of his week.

‘We’re really passionate about QA because they looked after George right to the end.

‘They get overlooked so often, we’d really like to see the music therapy in QA as soon as we can get it.’

George loved music and played electric guitar and drums, like his dad Craig, 33, who is a gas engineer. The charity is the family’s fitting tribute to their much-loved son and brother to Isabella, five.

They aimed to raise £5,000 for George’s Rockstars by the end of 2019 to be able to register as a charity, but smashed this target and entered the new year with more than £10,000 raised.

Wickham Community Centre will play host to George’s Birthday Rock Out, which will run from 3pm to 11pm and feature live music, face painting and more.

‘Hopefully it should be a really good night and raise more money, and George would have loved it,’ said Amy, 35.

‘The charity grew really quickly in a matter of months so hopefully over this year it’ll grow even more.’