A MEMORIAL fund set up following the tragic death of a caring 14-year-old girl is on target to reach £10,000 raised.

Jess Mackie’s family created the fund in her name after the Gullane youngster, who loved to sing and help others, passed away suddenly on January 2 this year.

The North Berwick High School pupil was a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland and sang with Aberlady and Gullane Parish Churches, at care homes and for charities, and at school concerts.

Despite her young age, she had a sense of how music could help people in need.

And now the Jess Mackie Memorial Fund will “help her to keep helping others, as she had always done, and would have continued to do if she was still with us”, said parents Michael and Jackie.

“We cannot let our beautiful daughter’s name and character be forgotten,” they said. “She had so much to offer.”

All monies raised will be used to provide support and comfort through music therapy at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh.

Dad Michael, long-standing chairman of Gullane Sports Development Trust, said: “When Jess passed away, we had a memorial service for her and decided to use it to donate to the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. Quickly thereafter, we learnt about an initiative involving music therapy they were running with Tinderbox Orchestra in the hospital. We met with one of the trustees initially and we decided to put in place something that would allow Jess to help other kids.”

The memorial service, which was held at Aberlady Parish Church, raised more than £2,000, with money continuing to be donated by members of the public and through organised events.

Michael, 52, said: “We were approached by Gullane and Aberlady Parish Churches and they asked if they could run an event in Jess’ memory, which they did last Sunday.

“From the family point of view, it was another show of overwhelming support by the village and the community. We have raised a substantial amount of money. Gullane and Aberlady Parish Churches posted on Facebook that it had raised about £1,800 for the fund and Gullane Athletic [FC] are running an event in August in support of the fund.”

Twelve members of staff at North Berwick High School also took part in the recent Edinburgh Marathon Relay.

Split into three teams, they raised more than £1,500 for The Royal Hospital for Sick Children Jess Mackie Memorial Fund, Richmond’s Hope and Leuchie House.

Jess, who was in S3 at the secondary school, was, like her twin sister Lauren, a keen singer.

Her dad told the Courier Jess “loved” singing and tried to help people and raise their spirits through her voice.

That love of singing and trying to help people has been mirrored through the success of the memorial fund, which sits at about £9,800.

Michael added: “I think that the fund reflects Jess completely. It reflects the impact she had while only 14 years old.

“It reflects the impact she had on people that she met and what she did in terms of her church singing, singing in local care homes, school concerts, helping out at various events like for the Bethany Christian Trust and Leuchie House. I think that reflects what she did while she was here.”

The project aims to ensure children and young people who are feeling vulnerable in hospital are given the chance to enjoy music, which can have an enormous and positive impact, helping ignite a spark in them and giving them back a sense of control.

Michael added: “Music is a great comforter at times and what Tinderbox do is amazing for the kids.

“We had no hesitation in supporting what they do.”

Janet Anderson, who is involved with the choirs at the two villages’ churches, also paid tribute to the talented teenager.

She said: “I could not speak more highly of Jess.

“She did not think she had a special talent, she was just the most unassuming, normal girl you would ever meet.

“She was so pretty, so kind and so thoughtful and generous and she never thought she was anything special.”

To make your own donation, go to teamechc.everydayhero.com/uk/jess-mackie-memorial-fund