To help you understand why we have chosen to support our charity of choice, James Hopkins Trust, we’ve shared a short personal story. This is only one small story among thousands of stories, it’s not designed to tug on your heart strings, you only need to understand the work that our chosen charity does for that, but it is true and it is raw – possibly even a little risky to publish, but that’s just tough.

The Giant with Dylan from SouthAmDram Jack and Bean Stalk for James Hopkins Trust
The Giant and a special young man – he has to be a strong little man to even come out and have fun. So easily taken for granted.

All good causes are there to help those in need and our charity is possibly no more deserving than any other great cause out there. SouthAmDram Society (that’s us) is group of local people with local lives and families – so supporting a local charity that works with children was a no brainer.

The cast and crew of this pantomime, many of which are children, are giving up their personal time and a lot of it, to ensure that we put on as good a show as we can, to justify your ticket and support. Please understand, we’re not saints, you only need see some of the language we’ve had to remove from the script to know that (sic), but we do have a good laugh whilst making this. We give very little compared to the work of our chosen charity.

For our first production last year, Jack and the Beanstalk, we chose to support James Hopkins Trust. We considered a number of charities at the time and were pleased with our choice. A good cause for our first production, maybe next year, we might support another – we decided to stick with them for a second year.

James Hopkins Trust was established nearly 30 years ago, and has been providing incredibly important care for babies and children to the age of 5 who have a life limiting or life threatening condition and in the process supporting the families of those children. In fact, they currently help over 90, all in our own county, Gloucestershire.

For Jack and the Beanstalk, we thought it would be a good idea to offer up some of the seats, free of charge, for some of the children and their families. One must appreciate that we are trying to raise money, so giving away free tickets isn’t ideal. We don’t have many performances (only 2 last year) or a theatre, so tickets are rather limited – a balancing act.

We were pleased to welcome one family last year, with their son, a delightful young man, who sat front and centre, loved the show and hung out with the cast after – don’t worry, you can too.

Whilst putting our website together, the webmaster (that’s me) suggested that we would like to use some of the photographs we took and requested that Gerry, our director, would seek permission of the family through the James Hopkins Trust. The reply was very sobering and emphasised the reality of what we were doing.

“I think that’s a wonderful idea, I’ll contact James Hopkins Trust to check if he is well enough to come back this year, we don’t know if his health is stable.”

Fortunately, there have been few occasions in my life where I have been stopped in my tracks with such brutal reality. ‘The penny dropped’ doesn’t even get close. We’re not just putting on a fairy-tale panto, we’re raising hard cash for an even harder reality.

Over the previous 28 years, James Hopkins Trust has supported in excess of 500 children, along with their families throughout Gloucestershire. They offer free nursing respite, night or day, in either the homes of the children or at their purpose built multi-sensory respite centre and gardens named Kites Corner.

Kites Corner is filled with love and laughter, and is a place where very special and long lasting memories are created. James Hopkins Trust have dedicated themselves to facilitating that.

We dedicate this production to James Hopkins Trust, the people that work there and the people they support. The tickets, drinks, snacks, raffle tickets and anything else that you purchase or donate on the night, along with your own enthusiastic ‘he’s behind you’ performance will make SouthAmDram’s Cinderella 2018 a success.

Our little chap will be joining us again this year, so we hope you can make it too.

In addition to the James Hopkins Trust, by putting the show on at our village hall we are raising funds for the hall itself by hiring it for the performances and some of the rehearsals. Thank you to the Village Hall committee for providing us with a discount for the 3 performance days.

We would also like to thank the Parish Council for their donation of £50 which provided us with an additional 5 hours of rehearsal time, which is dearly needed.

We would also like to thank our main sponsor, The Ellenborough Park Hotel, who provided us, free of charge, with a large room in which to rehearse on a weekly basis. Their contribution enables us to give more to James Hopkins Trust. Maybe support the hotel in return by visiting their wonderful new bar – The Horse Box.

Thank you for taking the time to read this – if you feel like we do, that this is indeed a worthy cause, please share this page with your friends and family via social media. It’s gonna be a sell out.

Please visit the website of James Hopkins Trust if you would like to learn more about them.