A tribute of colour is planned for ‘truly remarkable’ Jess

An emotional and colourful celebration of the life of Donington aspiring actress Jess Danby (19) is planned by family and friends on Wednesday.

Jess Danby of Donington.
Jess Danby of Donington.

Hundreds of people are expected at Boston Crematorium for Jess’s funeral at 1.30pm and her family have asked mourners to “wear colourful clothes, instead of the traditional black, to help make this a celebration of Jess’ life”.

Jess, who studied performing arts at Thomas Middlecott Academy, Kirton, and then New College Stamford, died on October 2 after a collision on the A52 in Wyberton Fen.

Sue Illingworth, vice principal of Thomas Middlecott Academy said: “There are times when, working in a school, you are blessed in meeting a truly remarkable student.

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“Jess Danby was one of these students - effervescent, happy and enthusiastic are some of the positives that describe Jess.

“Her first love was drama and it is in this area that she made her mark with fabulous performances in Murder at the Manor and Little Shop of Horrors, allowing her to develop the ability to play the most amazing characters.

“However, Jess never shied away from the more intense dramatic roles and it is these two aspects of being funny - yet deep - that sum up Jess’s approach to life.

“She was a genuinely caring and kind person, nothing was too much trouble for her and although she had only a short life, the impact she made and the memories she has left behind are huge.”

A book of condolences will be opened after the funeral for people to sign and the celebration of Jess’s life will continue at Caffe Nero, Boston. where she worked for about a year.

A Caffe Nero spokesman said: “Jess was the nicest person you could hope to meet.

“She was bubbly, bright, and loved by her team and customers at Caffe Nero Boston which she joined a little over a year ago.

“Initially, she was shy and quiet but eventually Jess grew in confidence with each month and we thought of her as “a star of the future”.

“Jess was always willing to do and give more because of big heart and a warm character and she will be sorely missed by all those who worked alongside her every day.”

The spokesman also confirmed that talks are to take place with Jess’s family “in due course” with a view to organising a fundraising event in her memory.

Caffe Nero has also pledge to make a donation to Jess’s favourite charity Centrepoint Outreach Boston for which a collection will be taken during Wednesday’s funeral

Chief executive Elizabeth Higgins said: “‘All of us at Centrepoint Outreach Boston were shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic and untimely death of Jess Danby.

“She was a friendly, bubbly girl who had a strong desire to help those less fortunate than herself and Jess regularly spoke to members of our staff about her wish to help homeless and vulnerable people.

“We were moved to learn that Centrepoint Outreach was her favourite charity and we are very grateful that Jess’s family has chosen to support a cause which was clearly so close to her heart.’