Charity in memory of tragic teacher

SHE lit up the lives of all who knew her.

Neil Puffett

SHE touched the lives of many and proved an inspiration to hundreds of youngsters across Suffolk.

Acclaimed for her generous nature and caring character, 27-year-old art teacher Kate Talmadge was a shining light in Suffolk.

Today a new charity is being launched in her name to carry on her legacy of motivating youngsters to succeed, following the sudden passing of the popular figure earlier this month.

The Kate Talmadge Art Travel Award, conceived by her family and backed by The Evening Star, Suffolk County Council, the East of England Co-op and Ipswich Hospital, will offer an annual bursary for students in the county.

Tim Wilson, the council's art advisor, said the money will allow less advantaged students the opportunity to travel to regional art galleries and possibly international destinations as far away as Spain, Italy or New York.

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He said the idea for the award, which will be funded by public donations, came from Kate's father Steve Talmadge.

Mr Wilson said: “Steve contacted me with regard to using some of the funeral donations to go towards furthering the work that Kate had been involved with for the benefit of future students.

“It will be an enrichment opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and experience of art in a wider context.”

Mr Talmadge said his daughter had always been keen for children from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to experience and excel at art.

He said: “This is very fitting and a marvellous thing.

“There is nothing like it in the county.

“Any student wishing to benefit will be able to do it through their school.”

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “Kate was, quite simply, an inspiration to all who met her and I have been incredibly moved by the love and warmth that has shone through from this tragedy.

“With this bursary we can help someone to continue on the artistic path Kate strode on with such distinction.

“In this way Kate will live on in all our lives forever.”

A large number of people are expected to turn out for Miss Talmadge's funeral which will take place on Saturday at Tattingstone Church from 1pm.

- Would you like to pay tribute to Miss Talmadge? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, email or click on the Evening Star website at

Making a donation:-

People or businesses can make a donation to Kate's fund should address donations to: The Kate Talmadge Art Travel Award, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP41AN.

Cheques should be made payable to The Kate Talmadge Art Travel Award.

Miss Talmadge's family have requested family flowers only and for any donations to go to the Kate Talmadge Art Travel Award, or the Happy Heart Campaign at Ipswich Hospital.

Kate Talmadge:-

Kate Talmadge, 27, passed away on Thursday January 15 as she slept at her home in Thorney Road, Capel St Mary, where she lived with her parents.

She was a well-known figure in Ipswich and Stowmarket having taught hundreds of students at Holywells High School as an art teacher prior to moving to a new role at Combs Middle School last September.

Students in Ipswich and Stowmarket were said to be extremely upset on hearing the news of Miss Talmadge's death.

Terry Duffell, headteacher at Holywells High School in Ipswich, said Miss Talmadge, who joined the school in September 2004, showed an amazing ability to connect with students and those who knew her were devastated by the news.

He described her as a unique and inspirational character.

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