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Meet mini Monet Jessica Kerridge of Gillingham selling her work for Cherished Whispers for parents coping with loss

By Jenni Horn

A pint-size Picasso is using her creative skills to raise funds for her grandmother’s charity – and she’s only two years old.

Like every proud gran, Cheryl Morley wanted to show off a masterpiece created by her granddaughter Jessica.

But instead of just putting it on the front of her fridge, Cheryl had the painting made into a canvas.

Jessica Kerridge in action with her paints
Jessica Kerridge in action with her paints

She then took a snap of the picture hung on her wall and posted it on Facebook.

It prompted such a great response from her family and friends, Cheryl decided to offer copies of the painting for sale.

All the money raised is being donated to Cheryl’s charity, Cherished Whispers, which helps parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy, birth or shortly afterwards.

Pride in Medway finalist Cheryl, 53, said: “When I posted a picture of the painting online a lot of people said how brilliant it was.

“Jessica only turned two in February and she did the painting in May when she was only 26 months old. A lot of people have been surprised the painting has been done by someone so young.

“Jessica is very artistic. She gets it from her mum.”

Jessica loves painting at home and at Busy Bees nursery in Hempstead.

Cheryl, who has lost four babies during pregnancy, set up Cherished Whispers in 2011.

An original 'Jessica' on a wall
An original 'Jessica' on a wall

It gives bereaved parents wooden memory boxes containing a candle, a hope charm and two teddies – one for baby and one for the parents to keep, along with information on where to get support.

Cheryl provides boxes at Medway Maritime Hospital and hopes to expand to other hospitals around Kent.

Mum Jody Kerridge said: “Jessica loves anything crafty. I have Fridays off and we sit down together and do arts and crafts.

"She has got a little table where she sits and her own brushes and paints. The paint pots are always the first thing she goes to at nursery too.

Cheryl Morley is raising funds for her charity by selling prints of a painting done by her granddaughter, Jessica, aged 2
Cheryl Morley is raising funds for her charity by selling prints of a painting done by her granddaughter, Jessica, aged 2
Jessica with one of her 'masterpieces'
Jessica with one of her 'masterpieces'

“The painting was created during one of our weekly craft sessions. I kept turning the paper to make sure she didn’t paint over the same bits, but the rest she did all by herself. It was her first big painting.”

For a £3 donation to the charity, supporters can receive a digital copy of the painting which they can then save or print off. Some of those who have bought it are using it as the screensaver on their phones or computers.

Cheryl, of Trafalgar Street, Gillingham, added: “I’m really proud of Jessica. She is already helping to raise funds and I’m sure she will be involved in our charity events when she’s old enough. She is very sweet and caring.”

To find out more about Cherished Whispers or to order a copy of Jessica’s painting, visit www.cherishedwhispers.co.uk/

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