Big night out in Stamford planned for young people with special needs

Cherylann Jesson and her sister Shanise Johnson
Cherylann Jesson and her sister Shanise Johnson
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A big night out for young people with special needs is being organised by a devoted sister.

Mum-of-two Cherylann Jesson will host a disco at The Corn Exchange Theatre Lounge in Stamford on Wednesday (September 28) and hopes it could become the first of many.

Cherylann, 24, who lives in Ketton with husband Sean and their two children, was inspired to organise the event by her sister Shanise’s love of music and dancing.

Shanise, 21, has a rare form of epilepsy and has a mental age between three and seven.

Cherylann has devoted a large part of her life to helping to care for Shanise, who lives with her parents in Holland Road, Stamford.

Next week’s club night follows a 21st birthday party organised for Shanise by her family in July.

Cherylann, who looks after her sister two nights a week at her home to give mum and dad a break, said: “It was such a joy to see Shanise and her friends at her 21st birthday ball at the Theatre Lounge. It was lovely to see them able to be themselves.

“Shanise loves the atmosphere and the music, but unfortunately it is not safe for her and her friends to go to pubs and clubs in town, so I thought we should try to organise something especially for them.”

Cherylann and Shanise’s mum Donna Johnson is helping to pay for next week’s event, but it is hoped funding might be found for 
future dates.

Backing could also help Cherylann with her hopes to organise a weekly youth club for young people with special needs.

Cherylann has been a vital support for Shanise ever since her sister’s condition became apparent aged three. She was later diagnosed with Laundau-Kleffner syndrome

At the age of 15, Cherylann was nominated for the Oliver Chivalry Award by her mum, who described her as “a special girl with a heart of gold”.

Now, Cherylann juggles looking after daughter Summer, 4, and son Kaiden, 2, with supporting Shanise and working as a Cambridge Weight Plan consultant, after she herself lost four stone.

Tickets for next week’s event are available at the Stamford College skills for special needs unit, which Shanise attends four days a week. Volunteers from the unit will also be helping out at the disco.

The tickets costing £3 are available for anyone aged over 16 with special needs. Anyone wishing to attend should call Cherylann on 07582 628044.