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Giving Essex

Belinda Starling Memorial Fund

Fundraising for Essex Community Foundation

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Essex Community Foundation

Essex Community Foundation is playing a leading role in the development of local philanthropy and resources to sustain communities. It works to improve the quality of life of people in our community by investing and distributing funds on behalf of individuals, companies and public agencies.

Charity Registration No. 1052061


Belinda Starling Trim, who lived in Wivenhoe, died on 11 August 2006 following an operation to remove a cyst on her bile duct. She was 34 and left a husband and two small children. Belinda, universally known as Bee, died knowing that Bloomsbury would publish her first book, the Journal of Dora Damage.


What she did not know was what a success it would be and how fantastic the reviews. English Literature, Drama and Music were her great loves, and one of her happiest moments was teaching Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of teenagers in KwaZulu. She was nineteen and in one of South Africa’s rougher areas; a place where, as Bee said, “they all know what tear gas smells like.”

Reading Bee’s letters home that summer it was clear how much she enjoyed sharing her intellectual gifts with others less fortunate and that she had discovered a truth that for some remains hidden all their lives.


“I can’t explain how much I love them,” she wrote. “They can be obnoxious or stroppy and I may tell them off strictly, but they have my love and trust and I have theirs and I just love them.


Why does everyone go round as if love is a scarce commodity that must be rationed? There’s a huge reserve of love waiting to be tapped into, and it will never run dry.”

Now, the

Now, the Belinda Starling Memorial Fund will channel that love into helping young people nearer home. It will help people like Belinda help children whose literary, drama or music ambitions and talents just cannot take root without help and encouragement – and money.


There are three reasons why the family have chosen to set up the Fund with the Essex Community Foundation. First, the administration is first rate and very cost effective. Secondly, the investment record is good, and, as the ambition is to build this fund substantially, this is important. But, thirdly, and by far the most important, ECF knows where the really needy kids are and can spend the money with precision and maximum effect.


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  • Belinda Starling