Lasting tribute to schoolgirl after tragic death

Julia Blackham, a Year 7 pupil at Marriotts School in Stevenage, died after becoming seriously unwell while at school

Julia Blackham, a Year 7 pupil at Marriotts School in Stevenage, died after becoming seriously unwell while at school - Credit: Courtesy of Marriotts School

A netball tournament in memory of an 11-year-old schoolgirl who died earlier this year has raised more than £1,400 for a good cause and "lasting tribute to a lovely young lady".

Julia Blackham, a Year 7 pupil at Marriotts School in Stevenage, died suddenly on April 29 after becoming seriously unwell while at school.

Described by her primary school, Peartree Spring in Stevenage, as "warm, funny, caring, with the brightest smile", Julia has left a huge hole in the lives of her family, friends and school community.

Yesterday, a netball tournament was hosted by Stevenage Storm Netball Club at Marriotts - the club's training facility - in memory of Julia and in aid of People for People - a community group supporting people in need in Stevenage.

The cause was chosen by Julia's family. Julia's mum, Kimberly, explained: "The community near and far were there when we needed them the most. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, you're all so amazing. Now, it’s time to help the community.

"Julia would always question why people were on the streets or why families didn’t have enough food. She could never get her head around it and would often want to buy food for people in the town.


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"Now, we can truly honour her and continue to help those who need the support, just as you all supported us."

At the time of writing, £1,467 had been raised online - almost triple the £500 target.

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Kenny Arnold, the founder of People for People, said: "I am so honoured Julia's family have asked that we be the recipient of the money raised.

"We have had a really good idea about what to do with the money - a lasting tribute to a lovely young lady and her incredible, courageous family who have suffered so much. They are clearly trying to help their community.

"I'm going to clear it with the family, but what we are going to do, I think, is going to be incredible and a lasting tribute for our beautiful little Julia.

"From this tragedy, we have to try to make something positive happen."

Donations to the cause can still be made via the Go Fund Me fundraising page at gofund.me/54a228f9

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