On Friday 28 July, the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End hosted a special gala performance of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book Gangsta Granny. The show and auction raised an amazing £14,615 for Age UK Camden’s Good Neighbours Scheme – a vital service for isolated older people in Camden - which is facing funding cuts.
Actor, director and Camden resident Neal Foster took inspiration from his experience volunteering with the scheme to adapt and direct the show. Neal visited Rose every week for six years until she died aged 103 and it changed both their lives. He continues to volunteer and is now visiting Joy who is 87. Before the performance, which was dedicated to Rose, he told the audience that befriending is “one of the most rewarding things I've ever done”.
Gangsta Granny tells the story of a young boy who develops a fantastic relationship with his Granny, who he thinks is a boring old lady until they hatch a plan together to steal the Crown Jewels.
After the show Beth from Hampstead Auction Rooms leapt onto the stage in a Gangsta Granny wig to host an auction for the charity. The fantastic donated prizes included a signed framed photo of 2017 FA Cup winners Arsenal, tickets to the press night of David Walliams' Awful Auntie, a signed framed gold disc from ‘Everything But The Girl’ and an opportunity to meet the cast of Gangsta Granny. The auction raised almost £3000.
Gary Jones, Age UK Camden Chief Executive, said: “We’re so grateful to Neal and the Birmingham Stage company. This generous donation means we are over half way towards raising the funds we need to continue delivering this service in 2017/18.”
Age UK Camden is an independent charity that provides high quality, innovative services and support to help older people to stay active, stay connected and get the most out of life.
Neal is also fundraising for Age UK, the national charity to which Age UK Camden is affiliated, and has raised £35000 of his £50000 target so far.
Further information: Emma Doyle, Communications Manager, Age UK Camden, 020 7239 firstname.lastname@example.org