A THEATRE company that a much-loved 11-year-old was a member of before her sudden death is looking to honour her at its new home.
After announcing they would now be based at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth, the Young Creatives are raising money to name a seat in the theatre’s stalls after Imogen Mead, who died of meningitis in July.
The group’s proprietor, Marie Amey, says that the Young Creatives want to ‘show that Imogen is still coming with us’.
She said: ‘Imogen had been with us for a couple of years. The students all see themselves as a family, and a lot of them are saying that they feel like they’ve lost a sister.’
The group, which previously rehearsed at Buckland Community Centre, needs to raise £215 for the seat.
It first memorialised Imogen, who was from Buckland, earlier this month by performing James Bay’s Hold Back The River and releasing balloons at Chaos Support’s summer fete in Havant.
The 23 members will raise money with performances and bake sales at Victoria Park on Wednesday and Baffins Pond on August 31.
Marie says that the children suggested the bake sales as a more fitting tribute to keen baker Imogen, who dreamed of owning her own cake shop in 20 years’ time.
Marie said: ‘They’re always coming up with ideas to pay tribute to Imogen. They’ve started a memories box to give to the family after the funeral.’
A public memorial for Imogen is being held today at St John’s Cathedral in Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth.
The Mead family have invited the Young Creatives to reprise their moving rendition of Hold Back The River and release balloons in Victoria Park after the service.
Imogen’s mother, Debbie Mead, says that the family is ‘touched’ by the extent of the group’s pledge.
She said: ‘They are a group of kind-hearted people who go out of their way to help and do things for others.
‘We are so pleased that we have been a part of their ‘family’.’
Debbie also says that Marie gives all of her students the ‘encouragement and experiences they may not have had’.
She said: ‘Imogen loved going to drama and wouldn’t miss it for the world.’
A friend of the Mead family has also managed to raise more than £6,500 to ‘lighten the load’.
Paul Caldwell started the JustGiving page with a target of £1,000, but now hopes to raise as much as £7,500.
He said: ‘The group was very important to Imogen. She was a very creative and talented child, and groups like that are great for a young person’s confidence.’
To donate, go to justgiving.com