The Girls musical raises £26,500 for blood cancer charity

Over £26,000 has been raised from bucket collections after each performance of The Girls musical at Leeds Grand Theatre. The money is being donated to Bloodwise, the blood cancer charity.

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 in Leeds. Volunteers from the charity’s Bradford and Leeds, and Honley and Huddersfield branches were joined by cast members, theatre staff and local supporters as they held bucket collections after each show.

Angela Baker, whose husband’s death from lymphoma sparked the idea for the original ‘Alternative WI Calendar’, said: “The public have been so supportive over the years and we have been blown away yet again by their generosity. There were a few nights in a row where we were collecting upwards of £900 after each performance. It is such a joy to see the amount of money raised for Bloodwise continue to grow. I know John would have been very, very proud.”

Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive of Bloodwise, said: “It has been such a team effort, from the cast and theatre staff, to the original calendar girls and local Bloodwise branch volunteers. This musical is not only helping to raise funds for the work we do but also awareness of blood cancer. We can’t thank everyone involved in this special production enough for their support and kindness in helping people affected by the disease in so many different ways.”

Tim Firth adds: “This is an extraordinary fundraising figure so far and if this continues at any rate in Manchester, we could see a truly special total raised for Bloodwise.”

The Girls musical will move to the Lowry in Salford from 8 to 30 January 2016, where it is hoped that further bucket collections will add to the £3million the original girls have raised for Bloodwise to date.