The family of young musician Ruby Lambert, who died last year at age 15, are donating what remains of the funds she raised for her recovery from a brain injury to charity.
The £ 15,000 will be split between Limehouse’s Half Moon youth theater, to which she belonged, and the Soundbox Ensemble with which she performed and which is jointly managed by Spitalfields Music, Drake Music and Tower Hamlets Arts and Music education service.
The family, originally from Clapton but now living on Isle of Dogs, have also planned a special commemorative event for when he will be safe following the Covid emergency.
Ruby fell ill with a rare, undiagnosed heart rhythm disorder at the age of five in April 2010, while a student at Prior Western Primary School at Golden Lane in Finsbury and the family lived near the Barbican.
She had cardiac arrest in school and was resuscitated – but was in a coma for two weeks with a brain injury, leaving her severely disabled.
Her parents took her to America for specialist treatment in 2011, when she was six, where she made significant progress in learning to communicate and laugh again.
Friends and family ran marathons, held art auctions, and even cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for his treatment, like additional physiotherapy and other medical needs. not covered by the NHS.
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The family returned from the United States in 2012 to their Bethnal Green home in Darwen Place, near the Regent’s Canal, before moving to their current home on Dog Island. Her father Simon works as a teacher at Arnham Wharf Primary School in Cubitt Town, and has previously taught at Sandringham Primary School in Forest Gate for seven years.
Ruby was a member of the youth group Half Moon’s Solar at Limehouse and the Soundbox Youth Musical Ensemble which meets at St Paul’s Way School every Saturday.
She passed away suddenly in February this year and only a few mourners were able to attend her funeral due to Covid restrictions; the family wants to organize a memorial when it is safe.
“We miss Ruby terribly,” said Simon. “But it’s a comfort to know that her many friends continue to enjoy the cultural activities so often denied to those with additional needs.
“We have always been blown away by the innovation of the Solar group and the Soundbox Ensemble, which helps young people enjoy creating theater and music together. ”
Ruby played a digitally-tech musical instrument called a bugle, which worked using movement of her eyes, playing sounds, and a microphone to vocalize as a member of the ensemble.
Her mother Catherine Newell said: “Ruby had an incredibly busy and active life and loved the theater, all types of music, movies and football. It made sense to help these organizations continue their activities.
“Ruby would love to know that she has helped her friends continue to express themselves through music and theater.”
Tributes also came this week from the Saturday Center of Tower Hamlets Arts and Music, the Half Moon Theater and the Spitalfields band.
Jak Berry, who runs the Saturday Music Center, said: “More young people will be able to participate in Soundbox with this donation. Ruby’s legacy will have a lasting effect on the lives of young people.
Beccy Allen of Half Moon recalls, “Ruby was a beloved member of our Solar Youth Theater and her bubbly presence is missed by all of us. Her friends often talk about her. We are touched to receive legacy funds to continue doing all the things they loved to do with Ruby.
Nicole Artingstall of Spitalfields Music said: “We got to know Ruby as a bright, bubbly young musician and passionate music lover when she joined Soundbox in 2018, showing up at every session with her father and often little sister Joni.
“Ruby’s mark on the project endures. ”
The Soundbox project uses family donation for tasting sessions and expands accessible technology.