Doctor Who star Karen Clegg is travelling back in time to the 1940s – to help local people recover from serious brain injuries.
The West End star who appeared in the original London production of 42nd Street, now hosts a sparkling nostalgia show that has proved particularly effective at helping older folks re-engage with past memories.
Karen – who also appropriately enough appeared in Casualty! – is popping in to Ponderosa (28 February – see close of release for more details) to bring vintage hits such as, “We’ll Meet Again” and “Pack up Your Troubles” to the Lakeside Café, Heckmondwike.
Money raised at the Sunday lunchtime treat will be used to fund everything from physio equipment to music therapy sessions for Dewsbury and District Hospital patients. Kathryn Fishwick, a Consultant from the hospital said: “People recovering from a stroke, a traumatic injury or viral illness need help to get back to being who they once were. The funds we receive will enable them to stand and walk again, boil a kettle, handle money – the types of things we take for granted.”
For Karen, rehabilitation is an issue very close to home. Whilst living in London, her husband – singer Kevin Curtin - contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. “I can understand what patients and their families are going through” said Karen, “and it was seven months before he could walk again. Something like this can change your life completely.”
Karen, who played alongside Sylvester McCoy and Kate O’Mara in Doctor Who adventure “Time and the Rani” enjoys turning the clock back and has a particularly fond memory of Northern songstress, Gracie Fields. “My dad was the manager at the Batley Variety Club in the 1960’s when Gracie played and there will be a few of her anecdotes in the show. What I am doing is so fulfilling and I hope young and old will come along and support us.”
The Neuro-Rehab vintage show is being staged at:
The Lakeside Café
Sunday 28 February from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
You can join in the fun by dressing 1940’s style.
Staff from The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are planning a series of fundraisers over the coming months including an October Halloween murder mystery. Kathryn Fishwick concluded: “Small items that stimulate recovery can make a huge difference to the quality of a patient’s life. In music therapy for example, the remembrance of a song can literally bring a person back to life. I urge everyone – including businesses and big organisations – to get behind our efforts and start by joining us for a feast of forties nostalgia!”
Tickets for the 1940s fundraising show are priced at £15 and can be bought by phoning 01924 816164 or 01924 543162.