Theatre Royal Stratford East has decided to honour one of its former patrons Jean Brown by naming its dress circle in her honour.
The late Jean Brown was a shareholder in Sahara Care, one of London’s leading care providers, and loved to visit the theatre on a regular basis, until she passed away following a battle with cancer.
This shared love of the theatre has been recognised by The Sahara Care Charitable Trust, an organisation set up in her memory, who have pledged £50,000 a year for the next four years to the theatre she once loved.
Terence Brown, Jean’s husband and Chair of the Trust and Sahara Care, said: “The Theatre was an important part of Jean’s life and there was also a strong connection between the theatre and West Ham United the club Jean and I have both supported since childhood. I am told the first play about our football club took place at the theatre before the First World War. I do hope our donation will go some way towards helping the theatre continue its outstanding work and contribution to the people of east London because I know that is what Jean would want.”
Sharon Kaur, Trustee of the Charity and Managing Director of Sahara Care, said “The Theatre has provided so much pleasure for our service users over the years and this is one way we can all say thank you to the Theatre Royal Stratford East. I know Jean would have been delighted.”
To mark the occasion two service users from Sahara Care handed over a cheque to the theatre’s artistic director Kerry Michael.
Kerry Michael said: “Jean was a regular face at the theatre and one of our great supporters, so it’s fitting that we name the dress circle in her memory. We are hugely grateful to Terry, Sharon and Sahara Homes for this long term donation. It will make a huge difference and allow us to continue to bring quality theatre to the people of Newham and east London.”
The Sahara Care Charitable Trust has helped a number of causes in and around east London and most recently donated £100,000 towards the construction of the Jean Brown Wing at the Richard House children’s hospice. A major donation was also made towards the Jean Brown Sports Arena in Redbridge. The centre was the largest training arena built for the London Olympics.
The charity is committed to helping a number of causes in and around east London and especially those assisting people with learning difficulties which is, of course, Sahara Care’s area of expertise; namely providing outstanding care for those with learning disabilities.