A CHARITY which was set up by a teenager who died of cancer aged just 18 is set to save thousands of pounds in tax.

Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness charity was set up by Jessica Robson before she died, after suffering from alveolar sarcoma – an extremely rare form of cancer.

She was diagnosed in 2010, aged 14, after finding a lump in her thigh. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed, but scans found shadows in Jessica’s chest and further treatment was needed.

Jessica received her treatment at the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary and was amazed to see the support from businesses in the North East who went on to the wards with gifts for the children. She set up the Jessica Sarcoma Charity, and over the next three years raised £28,000.

During this time Jessica enjoyed breaks and holidays with her family, paid for by charities and donations. It became Jessica’s dream that her charity should provide similar respite care.

Her family are now in the process of building three holiday lodges on land south of Ingleside, Bardon Mill, but due to the wording of the planning permission, the charity would be required to pay VAT on the lodges.

The loges will provide respite care for children and teenagers with cancer and their families, and also be used as a place for families to stay while receiving treatment.

National consultants Pegasus Group, on behalf of Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness charity, have now successfully applied to change the planning permission wording on how the three holiday homes are to be used.

The non-material amendment approved by Northumberland County Council is now likely to save the charity up to £19,000 a year in VAT payable on the lodges.

Jessica’s mum Julie, who runs the Jessica Sarcoma Awareness charity, said: “Pegasus Group kindly helped us to amend the planning permission so that the charitable status of the chalet can be recognised, saving us a considerable sum on VAT for the build of the project.

“They have continued to support us along the delivery of the project, on a no fee basis, for which we are very grateful.

“The project is nearing completion and we hope to be able to welcome our first guests to the respite charity lodge very soon. Jessica’s dream finally coming true.”

Sandra Manson, of consultants Pegasus Group, said the wording and use of the lodges was key.

She said: “The non-material amendment has distinguished the use of the smaller pods from the main lodge.

"While the original permission had conditions of use for all three as being for both tourism and respite care, the amendment states that two pods would be used for the purposes of tourism and respite care while the main lodge would be used solely for the purpose of respite care.”

Jessica’s Sarcoma Awareness is dedicated to its motto of ‘kicking cancer into touch’ and 10 per cent of donations go to Teenage Cancer Trust, 10 per cent to Sarcoma UK while the other 80 per cent stays within the charity to help children and teenagers through cancer. To date more than £200,000 has been raised.