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About us

The Helen Foundation was launched in January 2006 as a living memorial to Helen Elizabeth Kirk, aged 24, who tragically died after a road accident on 26 December 2005

Following her untimely death, her family and her boyfriend, Ben, decided to set up The Helen Foundation as a new charitable trust to support the aspirations of young people in the arts who live in Teignbridge, the part of Devon where Helen grew up and that she loved so much.

About Helen

Helen was an actor and performed under the stage names of Helen Owen-Taylor and Helen Hezel. 


Throughout her life, she loved acting and was passionately committed to the power of the arts to make a real difference to young people’s lives. 


Her theatre-in-education (TIE) work in the UK and abroad showed her first-hand how important it is to stimulate children’s imaginations and sensibilities and how arts activities of all kinds are uniquely able to do that.


Helen benefited greatly from the dedication and encouragement of those teachers and coaches in the schools, colleges, and drama groups she attended – Shaldon School, Teignmouth Community College, Exeter College, Shaldon Theatre Company, Tykes, The Teignmouth Players, the Dawlish-based Acting Up and Devon Youth Theatre amongst others.

See Tributes to Helen for more about her life and who she was as a person.

See Helen’s Thesis for Helen’s ideas about the power of the arts.

Images: By permission The Kirk Family
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