Music teacher Steve Walker strikes a chord in grandchild’s memory

APPEAL: Music teacher Steve Walker is holding a charity night in memory of his granddaugher, Isabella. (d31011209)
APPEAL: Music teacher Steve Walker is holding a charity night in memory of his granddaugher, Isabella. (d31011209)

A MUSIC teacher is appealing for help from local firms as he prepares for a charity night in the memory of his granddaughter.

Steve Walker, 57, has been a guitar teacher in the district for more than 30 years.

His daughter Rachel, 29, gave birth to Isabella Dean in 2010 but at six-weeks-old the tot was diagnosed with a complex heart condition.

Isabella died just before Christmas, after being cared for at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, aged just 12 months and four days.

Now Steve has organised a gig to raise cash for two charities which supported his family and he’s been overwhelmed by the support.

Steve said: “In a small way, this is a tonic for us. It makes my 57 years on this planet worthwhile because people really want to get involved and give something back.”

Rachel and her partner Mark Dean, who now live in Stockport, spent nearly 11 months at Isabella’s bedside and received invaluable support from the Ronald McDonald House and Heartline charities.

Steve, who grew up in Westborough, but now lives in Liversedge, has organised the band night at the Swan pub, in Liversedge, to raise money for both organisations.

The night will be compered by Batley businessman Mike Smith, of Mike’s Carpets fame.

Prominent local bands including Dean Barton’s Spirit of Smokie, the Britrocks and Steve’s Goldtops – comprised of local musicians – have already pledged their support to Steve.

He said: “As well as Ronald McDonald House, the Heartline charity is really good because it’s for the families of children with heart conditions of any kind.

“They have helped my daughter through this and they do such a tremendous job.

“The response from people here has proved that when the chips are down, folk have come out to support my family.”

Steve has appealed to local businesses to lend their support as well in the form of donations and raffle prizes for the night.

He said: “I’m hoping businesses will be able to donate either something for the raffle and auction on the night, or make a monetary contribution.”

The event takes place on Friday March 2 at the Swan pub, Bradford Road, from 7pm.

For more information or to help, contact 07704 320745.