Mary’s legacy is helping other children cope

6/1/11- Rye and District Lions presents funding for musical instruments to The Music Well, Rye.  Conrad Freezer and Tessa Cleveland with Liz Butt from The Music Well. ENGSNL00120110601122106
6/1/11- Rye and District Lions presents funding for musical instruments to The Music Well, Rye. Conrad Freezer and Tessa Cleveland with Liz Butt from The Music Well. ENGSNL00120110601122106

Needy children in the Rye and Battle area will be able to get access to music therapy thanks to donations made in the memory of Mary Shipstone.

Seven year old Mary, a pupil at Beckley Primary School, died last September after being shot in the head by her father near her home at Spring Hill, Northiam.

The tragedy shocked the local community and many, including the parish council wanted to donate in Mary’s memory.

Mary’s family chose the Rye based charity Music Well, which provides a wide variety of therapies and resources which help people of all ages, particularly children, to cope with things such as anxiety, emotional and behavioural difficulties, self development and growth.

Liz Butt, who set up the Music Well, said: “The Music Well are pleased to say that ‘Mary’s Fund’ is now open thanks to the generosity of Mary Shipstone’s family, the Police Property fund, the Rye Fund, the Rye Community Charity Shop and, most recently a donation from the George Hotel in Rye.

“We all remember the tragic death of little seven year old Mary Shipstone last September in Northiam.

Mary’s mother wanted other children to benefit.

“Mary had herself had some music therapy sessions to help her address her fears.

“She had used the musical instruments, particularly some little brass bells to express her feelings and create stories that helped her come to terms with her situation.

“Mary’s mother Lyndsey said she felt these sessions were very helpful for Mary and so she wanted to enable other children to benefit. The family opened the fund with a generous donation to The Music Well.

“The local community have opened their hearts and their purses for this fund and it is now available to help local children in fearful circumstances.”

Speaking about the therapy, she said: “Music Therapy can support you through many difficulties by forming a relationship through playing music together.

“This music can take many forms. Often it is improvised, using a collection of easily played percussion instruments including drums, gongs, keyboards and Tibetan bowls.

“Very often, music therapy can help when words are not enough.”

For more information on how to take advantage of Mary’s Fund contact The Music Well’s music therapy service on 01797 226330 or email enquiries@themusicwell.org.uk.