Factor Essex: Romford contestant’s heart-warming tribute to brother with cerebral palsy

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 November 2018

Jessica Packard-White from Romford singing You Light Up My Life at the Factor Essex semi-finals. Photo: LRB Media

Jessica Packard-White from Romford singing You Light Up My Life at the Factor Essex semi-finals. Photo: LRB Media


A young Romford singer made it through to the finals of Factor Essex after singing an emotional tribute for her brother.

Jessica Packard-White from Crow Lane continued to impress the judges of Factor Essex at the semi-finals which had the theme of All You Need is Love.

Factor Essex is a singing competition that mirrors the style of hit ITV show, The X Factor.

At the semi-finals Jessica sang LeAnn Rimes’ You Light Up My Life, as a tribute to her younger brother, Cameron Packard-White on Saturday, November 17.

While the 16-year-old singer was performing, a slide-show revealed a selection of pictures of Cameron when he was in the hospital as a baby and later as a young boy.

Jessica Packard-White from Romford has made it to the finals in Romford. Picture: Factor EssexJessica Packard-White from Romford has made it to the finals in Romford. Picture: Factor Essex

The heart-warming performance earned Jessica three golden buzzers and her route safely through to the Grand Final.

“[Cameron] was born prematurely and the doctors told us that he wouldn’t make it through the night,” said Jessica.

“He now has cerebral palsy but he’s still here 14 years later. He’s the happiest, funniest person I know.”

Proud mum, Kelly White added: “The whole building was in tears - it was very emotional. We worked on it together, Jessica picked the song herself and I helped her put the slide-show together.

“Jessica’s mentor, [Joe Fryd] let Cameron sit right next to her for the performance. Afterwards, everyone commented that it was brilliant.”

Factor Essex has seen various local artists rise to fame, such as Celebrity Big Brother champion and X Factor finalist Ryan Clark, along with The Voice Kids winner Jess Folley.

Jessica and the other contestants recorded the Factor Essex charity single, Fight Song, which will be released on Monday, November 26.

The single will help raise funds for the mental health charity, Mind.

Kelly added: “I know Jessica is stronger than she used to be as she’s more confident. Every week her mentor group gets together to rehearse. She’s made a lot of new friends and she’s always so excited.”

Jessica will next be performing at the Grand Final on Sunday, November 25 in The Civic Hall in Grays.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Entertainment Stories

Wed, 15:00

Audiences are invited to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas at Brookside Theatre’s festive musical, A Christmas Carol.

Tue, 17:00

Local paper journalists may not get to review West End musicals or critique Michelin star restaurants – but they do get to enjoy the festive spectacle that is the local pantomime.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Panto season is one of the most joyous and magical times of the year and the Queen’s Theatre will be holding special dementia friendly performances so that no one will feel excluded from enjoying the wonders of pantomime.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

An X Factor finalist will be recreating the magic of Adele’s music from her three hit albums in Hornchurch.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A band that has performed at the BBC’s Children in Need will be performing popular Christmas songs at the Queen’s Theatre this December.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Offie nominated actor CJ de Mooi will be playing one of Christmas’ most renowned grumpy characters, Scrooge in Brookside Theatre’s Christmas musical.

Monday, December 3, 2018

When Jack sells his beloved family cow for magic beans, he soon discovers they open up an unexpected world of thrilling adventure.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A 15-year-old singer from Harold Hill said being crowned winner of Factor Essex 2018 was an “overwhelming” experience.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now