TRIBUTES have been paid to an inspirational teenager “who left a mark on everyone who came across her”.

The family of Natalie Keith, who died at home in Ensbury Park last week after a short illness, described the 14-year-old an “absolutely remarkable girl”.

Despite being born with spinal muscular atrophy, which left her wheelchair-bound throughout her life, Natalie was a typically bubbly, active teenager.

She was a star of the stage, appearing in shows at the Poole Lighthouse and Bournemouth Pavilion, and was a high-achieving pupil at the Victoria Education Centre.

Mark Keith, Natalie’s dad, said: “She was incredibly bright and intelligent.

“Natalie was your typical 21st century girl. She loved her music and make-up, and was always on Facebook and her iPhone.

“Her passion was acting and drama. She loved the stage and loved being the centre of attention.”

Natalie, nicknamed Babs by her family after the character in the film Chicken Run, had passed the first part of her LAMDA drama qualification and her ambition was to win a part in Eastenders.

Mum Julie said: “Natalie was determined to achieve all her goals.

“She had a great sense of humour and was a very special girl.”

Natalie was also step-daughter to Julie’s partner Rab, Mark’s partner Mel, sister to Alicea and Hollie, and step-sister to Shane, Fraser, Ally and Holly.

Chris Davies, principal at Victoria College, said Natalie was a much-loved pupil and would be “hugely missed by all the staff”.

“She was an amazing young lady who absolutely lived her life to the full,” said Mrs Davies.

Natalie’s family are urging people to back the college’s Sparkle appeal, which aims to provide a new hydrotherapy pool and therapy centre.

They also thanked the other groups who supported Natalie during her life, including the Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Julia’s House and the Rainbow Trust.

For more information on the Sparkle appeal go to