2nd Jun 2021
Ten years on from the tragic death of Hexham teenager Emma Newton, a fund set up in her name at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has given out over £46,000 in grants to young people aspiring for a career in the arts.
The Emma Newton Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, was established in memory of Emma who was killed aged only 18, when a tree hit her car. Emma was a keen performer and the fund reflects her passion for the arts, by allowing other young people to follow their dreams.
Emma’s parents, Robbie and Peggy Newton, said:
“The fund at the Community Foundation has really helped us over the last ten years. We know Emma would have been thrilled to see the impact it’s made. She was a very caring person and always gave her time to others, often teaching friends how to dance after school. It’s fitting that the fund is providing opportunities to other young people who, like Emma, love performing.
“We would like to thank the people of Hexham, the North East and all around the world, who have supported the fund since the beginning and helped us make a lasting impact on so many young people’s lives.”
Jo Cundall, Senior Advisor, Culture at the Community Foundation added:
“The Emma Newton Fund has enabled a generation of young people to pursue their artistic talent and ambition. In this way her parents Peggy and Robbie have created an amazing legacy in their daughter’s name”.
The Fund has supported everything from singing lessons to fees for prestigious music schools, and from dance training to the cost of purchasing an instrument.
One such beneficiary was Georgia Thompson from South Shields. The Emma Newton Fund gave her a grant towards tuition costs for a three-year vocational course at SA Performing Arts in Newcastle.
Georgia’s mum, Lynsey, said:
“We cannot thank the Emma Newton Fund enough for the support they have given Georgia. She has always hoped of pursuing her musical theatre dreams and without additional help we wouldn't have been able to fund it. The grant enabled Georgia to access additional training which led to her auditioning and accepting a place on a full-time vocational performing arts course which she is now thriving in. Thanks to the Emma Newton Fund, Georgia is now pursuing her dreams.”
For Georgia, the grant was a huge boost:
“When I got the news that I was receiving a grant from the Emma Newton Fund, I was so happy. I really wanted to go to Performing Arts College but I was worried about the costs that my family would have to pay. Performing is the only thing I've ever wanted to do, and now I'm being given the opportunity to do it. I want to thank the people who gave me the grant and promise that I will work as hard as I can to make the most of it.”
The funds most recent grant was to the Queens Hall Arts in Hexham, to support a range of projects using performing arts as a way to help address mental health issues in young people.
Susan Priestly, Engagement & Development Officer at Queens Hall Arts, explained how the grant would be used:
“We are delighted to have received funding through the Emma Newton Fund for our creative work with young people. The money will enable us to re-start work with our regular groups, including Queen’s Hall Youth Theatre, The Projectors (our youth theatre for young people with autism) and Youth Folk Bands, when we reopen with our newly refurbished Studio Theatre space later this year.”
The Fund has made 72 grants during a decade of giving, totalling £46,134. It has been a fitting legacy for Emma and ensured that dozens of young people have been able to aspire to careers in the arts without money holding them back.
The Emma Newton Fund will be open for applications in September/October 2021.
You can donate to the fund and help more young people access the arts here.