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Saturday, October 22, 2016
Alex Curtis Memorial Trust
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Alex Curtis was a brilliant young student  at Nicholas Breakspear RC School in St Albans, who died suddenly after an asthma  attack in February 2007.  His parents and former school teachers have now set up the Alex Curtis Memorial Trust in his memory.

The aim of the trust is to promote asthma and allergy awareness in schools by means of talks to all pupils, staff and parents, supplemented by educational leaflets and coping cards.

Following a very successful pilot series of talks undertaken at Nicholas Breakspear School by  Alex’s father Peter, the trust aims to take the talks into other schools in St Albans, then to other parts of the county and then nationally with the help of trained volunteers.

Mr Curtis said: "It is a fact that asthma accounts for more school days lost than any other long term illness and is potentially fatal.  A recent survey found that over 75% of teaching staff would not know how to cope with an asthma emergency. Information is out there but is not acted upon and that is why the trust feels that it is so important to take the message into schools and talk not only to the pupils but also to the staff and parents. "

The trust is currently looking for volunteers who would like to help by giving their time and skills to support this vital work.

For further details on volunteering or making a donation please contact the trust on 01707 258490 or e-mail  You can also check out our website on

Alex's Story

Alex, who was always known as Alexander to his family, was born on 15 November 1989 at St Albans City Hospital.

He was not diagnosed with asthma or eczema until he was around eight months old. Alex’s asthma was particularly bad and for the first seven or eight years of his life and he was admitted to hospital quite frequently often with life threatening exacerbations of the asthma. Once Alex had reached the age of 8 the frequency of hospital admissions began to lessen and his last admission was during his 10th year. 

During his teenage years, Alex’s asthma was well controlled and it was his eczema that troubled him more.  Alex had known food allergies to dairy produce and egg that affected both his asthma and his eczema.

Alex never let his asthma and eczema get him down and hardly ever complained.  He had a very positive attitude to life right from his earliest years and his gift for performing was noticeable almost from the time he could walk. As soon as he could walk be began to dance and took every opportunity to dance that he could. Once at school he lost no time in getting parts in the school productions where his acting talent was quickly spotted. It was not just acting but also singing that got Alex noticed and he joined the school choir and accompanied them on visits to the Royal Albert Hall as well as to the Royal Festival Hall on a number of occasions.

Alex joined several stage and drama schools. The first was at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans where he joined a group known as Theatrix.  It was the BBC who put Alex in touch with another drama school in Barnet by the name of Bodens. Alex had contacted the BBC to find out about the possibility of auditioning for productions such as Eastenders. Alex studied at Bodens for around three years and appeared in most of their productions. In St Albans Alex joined  a company by the name of SanyCat and appeared as Daddy Warbucks in their production of Annie at the Arena Theatre in St Albans in 2000.

At secondary school Alex’s acting talent was quickly spotted and he was encouraged to join the drama group and appeared in nearly all the productions put on by the school and Mr Borrill, head of drama at Nicholas Breakspear, said of Alex that he was “a directors dream.”

Although Alex had lost some time at school due to his asthma and eczema, he always caught up. He would work extra hard when he felt well and never got behind. From the time he could work, he took on part-time jobs purely because he wanted to be self-sufficient and he seemed to like working hard and never found it a burden.
As far as regards his principles and ethics, Alex was extremely mature for his age. He would see the good in everyone and treated them all equally and was totally opposed to any form of prejudice.

It was Alex’s positive attitude and principles that lead his family, friends and school to set up the Alex Curtis Memorial Trust in his memory to ensure that his name would live on in a way that he himself would have made of his life and in a way he would want now.

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Tags: Alex Curtis, Alex Curtis Memorial Trust, asthma attack, Nicholas Breakspear RC School St Albans

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