Feel-good entertainment to raise money for Grantham Parkinson's branch
The vital work of a charity will be in the limelight at a variety show being staged in Grantham’s Guildhall Arts Centre in October.
The feel-good show, featuring comedian Lee Carroll and singer Lynn Sweet, is in aid of the Grantham branch of Parkinson’s UK.
The husband-and-wife entertainers offered to perform for the charity after Lee met branch chairman Raymond Flack and his family on holiday.
The pair will be the headline acts in the show, which takes place on Friday, October 4.
Tickets are now available for £12, with all money raised going to support people with Parkinson’s locally, and Parkinson’s UK’s pioneering research to find better treatments and a cure for the condition.
Veteran comedian Lee Carroll rose to fame with a host of television and media appearances including The Little and Large Show and The Young Ones. He has also appeared at the London Palladium, and the Royal Albert Hall.
Joining Lee is The Variety Club’s award-winning vocalist, theatre star, and cruise performer Lynn Sweet, who will be singing classics from the 1950s to the modern day - everything from Vera Lynn to Barbra Streisand.
Raymond said: “We’re really grateful to Lee and Lynn for donating their time for a good cause.
“Our show, ‘Those were the days...before Parkinson’s’ will take the audience down memory lane to enjoy a feel-good, nostalgic show of good old-fashioned entertainment.
“We’d love you to join us on the night, to have fun, and help us raise some money to support people affected by Parkinson’s.
“The aim is to show that even though the disease is not treatable there exists a branch of PUK in Grantham providing help and support where needed.”
Raymond met Lee when he and his family were holidaying on a cruise ship where lee was working as an entertainer.
They had lunch and a drink together, and after learning that Raymond had Parkinson’s, Lee said he would be happy to put on a show to help the charity’s cause.
They got their heads together, came up with a date - and the variety show was the result.
Raymond said: “I think it is absolutely brilliant that they offered to help. Lee is very funny, and his jokes are clean, which is important for a lot of people.”
Parkinson’s is a serious degenerative neurological condition which can happen at any age and has a major impact on everyday life. It develops when cells in the brain stop working properly and are lost over time.
About 145,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with the condition. Raymond himself was diagnosed in 2013. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.
“Parkinson’s has considerably affected my life,” he said. “I am much slower in speaking, walking and general movement and often have to rely on my wife for some aspects of living and she is very supportive.
“I joined the Grantham branch and I have great pleasure in helping the branch provide support for those similarly affected by the disease.
“The branch achieves this support by raising money for the benefit of all members and their carers plus funds to send to Parkinson’s UK sponsored research projects.”
Parkinson’s UK is the UK’s leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s through pioneering research, information, support and campaigning.
The charity show will be attended by Parkinson’s UK’s chief executive Steve Ford, who will be presented with a cheque from the Grantham branch.
The money has come from events and legacies.
Tickets for Parkinson’s UK ‘Those were the days... before Parkinson’s’ charity show are available for £12 (no concessions) from the Guildhall Arts Centre’s box office in person, by phone 01476 406158 or via www.guildhallartscentre.com For advice, information and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk or call the free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303