March 1, 2015
The Dame Hannah Roger’s Trust – better known in South Devon simply as Hannah’s – is a brilliant charity that works with people with disabilities of all kinds. One of the oldest in the UK – it was established by the inspirational Hannah Rogers in the 1760s – Hannah’s home is Seale Hayne, a former agricultural college in beautiful countryside on the edge of Newton Abbot. Hannah’s believes – like THF – that the arts can be a transforming power in people’s lives and The Helen Foundation was proud to work with them in hosting an entertainment to benefit both charities over the Valentine’s Weekend.
One of THF’s Trustees is Leon Winston and with 3 actor friends he is part of Words for Voices, a special entertainment group which raises thousands of pounds for charity every year. Words for Voices devise entertaining evenings of poetry and dramatised readings that reflect the season of the year or a specific theme , and on Valentine’s weekend the group performed in the Great Hall at Hannah’s, with a focus on the 7 Ages of Man – and on love.
In a programme called, Time of Our Lives, they moved with complete ease and great style from Shakespeare to Enid Blyton, and from Yeats to Pam Ayres, weaving a programme of contrasting readings that kept an audience enthralled. The programme was enhanced by songs from Tom Morris, tenor, accompanied on occasions by a close harmony singing quartet called GCHQ (Glorious Close Harmony Quartet). What a feast of superb singing! The audience left the venue alive with enthusiastic conversation and with big smiles on their faces and the event raised over £1000 to be equally divided between both charities. The event was honoured by the presence of the Mayor of Newton Abbot Mike Hocking and the Deputy Chair of Teingbridge Carol Bunday.
Chairman of The Helen Foundation Roger Kirk writes: “It was very special for us joining forces with one of Devon’s oldest and most respected charities. Hannah’s does brilliant work in supporting people of disabilities of all kinds and they truly value the arts. This event was an outstanding evening and the fund-raising was a superb result! Thank you so much everyone involved.”
Pictured are GCHQ and Words for Voices.