We’d like to thank the writers, producers and cast of The Girls musical, along with all of our volunteers who helped out at bucket collections after each of the show’s 60 performances in Leeds and Manchester – and of course the members of the public who gave such generous support. Together you’ve helped us raise an amazing total of over £57,000!
Volunteers from our Bradford & Leeds, Wigan, Stockport and Honley & Huddersfield branches were joined by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), Salford Women’s Institute, cast members and local supporters, as they held collections after each show. A signed cardboard cut-out of Gary Barlow raised an additional £230 in auction.
A special mention also goes to the theatre staff at both venues, who were extremely supportive and helpful, always ensuring that more buckets were on hand when needed!
The musical, written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth and based on the true story of Yorkshire’s famous WI ladies, ran from 14 November to 12 December at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, followed by a run at the Lowry in Salford from 8 January to 30 January.
At both performances, the show’s producers kindly donated tickets for Bloodwise to bring along guests to see a special performance. This meant we were able to invite consultants and nurses from local hospitals – including Airedale Hospital and St. James’s Hospital in Leeds, and Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Christie in Manchester – as well as blood cancer patients and supporters from the local area.
Angela Baker, whose husband’s death from lymphoma sparked the idea for the original ‘Alternative WI Calendar’, says: “The public have been so supportive over the years and we have been blown away yet again by their generosity. Every night we’ve been collecting hundreds upon hundreds of pounds, with over £3,000 donated alone on the final night in Manchester.
“This musical has added another very special chapter to the Calendar Girls story and has presented the opportunity to raise even more money for Bloodwise. I know John would have been very, very proud.”
Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive of Bloodwise, says: “It has been such a team effort, from the cast, production team and theatre staff, to the original calendar girls and Bloodwise volunteers. The generosity of the public has meant that this musical has raised in excess of £57,000 for our work in saving patients’ lives.
“We can’t thank everyone involved enough for their support and kindness in helping people affected by the disease in so many different ways, and hope for more good news about the show in the not too distant future!”