The Linbury Trust pledges donation in memory of ballerina Annette Page

Annette Page - The Firebird

We are delighted to receive a pledge of £200,000 from The Linbury Trust, in memory of the ballerina Annette Page who died from motor neurone disease a year ago on 4 December 2017.

Annette was a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet in the 1950s and 60s dancing the leading role in classic productions including Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and was regularly partnered by her husband Ronald Hynd, the renowned dancer and choreographer.

The Linbury Trust was established by John Sainsbury (Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG) and his wife, Lady Anya Sainsbury CBE, in 1973. It is one of the group of grant-making foundations that are collectively known as The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Anya Sainsbury had a distinguished career in ballet, as the ballerina Anya Linden, and was a fellow student at the Sadler’s Wells School (now The Royal Ballet School) alongside Annette, with whom she remained close friends for over 70 years.

Anya Sainsbury said:

“The Linbury Trustees were greatly saddened by the death from motor neurone disease, one year ago, of my very dear friend and former colleague Annette Page. The Trustees very much hope that their grant to the Motor Neurone Disease Association will assist in the fight towards better understanding, and eventual eradication, of this dreadful disease.”

Annette’s daughter Louise said about the donation:

“My father and I would like to thank the Linbury Trust for this most loving and generous gesture in my mother’s memory. We hope that it will help to end this fatal disease, which often attacks those in peak physical condition and ends in total paralysis. A particularly cruel fate for a dancer.”

The donation will be split over a four-year period and will help fund Project AMBRoSIA, our biggest research project to date. To diagnose MND faster we need to better understand the causes of the disease and one way to do this is identify the unique fingerprints (MND biomarkers) of the disease.

Over the span of five years, this study will collect blood, urine and skin cells from 900 people with MND as well as from over 400 people without the disease with the aim of seeking to identify biomarkers that predict how MND progresses, and why it does so at differing rates between patients.

Sally Light, Chief Executive of the MND Association said:

“We were deeply saddened to hear about Annette’s passing and are extremely thankful to The Linbury Trust for this wonderful donation towards Project AMBRoSIA in memory of her. Without support like this the MND Association simply would not be able to fund research projects to find a cure. Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”

Today also sees the launch of a Much Loved online tribute page for Annette where friends and those who followed her incredible career as a dancer can leave a message.

Picture: Annette Page as The Firebird – Credit: Roy Round

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262