Curtain call for new dementia cafe in Hucknall

The Great Beyond at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall on July 23.
The Great Beyond at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall on July 23.

A theatrical experience at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall raised cash for a new dementia initiative in the town.

Entitled ‘The Great Beyond’, the show comprised four short plays which were written and directed by Luke Gascoigne and performed by a cast of New College Nottingham students who worked for free to make the production happen.

The curtain went up for one night only on July 23 and £319.50 was raised from ticket sales, programmes and raffle tickets.

Luke said: “The event went extremely well and I am proud of everyone that was involved. A huge thank you to the NCN students. Their commitment of time and energy to the project was amazing and it was a privilege to have worked with them.”

The 31-year-old’s grandmother Brenda Hufton, 82, was diagnosed with the disease seven months ago and both his grandads died as a result of the condition.

Hucknall Rotarians became interested in establishing a dementia café in the former mining town after hearing about the success of similar ventures in Nottingham.

Luke added: “We came across a social media post by Hucknall Rotary Club highlighting the benefits of a Memory Lane Café in West Bridgeford. This struck a chord and the proceeds from this evening’s event will go towards setting up a similar project in Hucknall. A dementia café provides a place of support where they people can socialise and make friends or just have someone to talk to.”

Centre manager Kim Pears said: “The group have rehearsed at NCN for the last couple of months and spent two days with us last week in final rehearsals.

“Credit must go to Luke for his talent and vision in writing and directing the emotional and thought provoking pieces. There were several times audience members were bought close to tears on the night.”

Rotary secretary Ian Young added: “I think it’s fantastic that a young person like Luke realises the impact dementia can have not just on the person, but the way it affects the whole family too, and wants to do something to make a difference.”