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Ashby Court - ”A Little On the Lonely Side”

Ashby Court - ”A Little On the Lonely Side”

I have just spent another enjoyable afternoon at the Future radio studio's recording a short play entitled, ”A Little On The Lonely Side” with my group The Ashby court Entertainers.

We are working with Future radio on a series of short plays about issues that affect older people. These are being funded by a grant from The Allen Lane foundation and researched and written by myself with the group’s input.

Our first play which has already been broadcast on Future Radio, tackled the subject of scams and was entitled,  “A Spratt to catch a Mackerel”. We are working on a couple more plays looking at the issue of depression in older people and coming out as gay in later life.

Ashby Court Entertainers drama group are aged between 65 and 90years and unfortunately lots of us are not able to learn and retain our “lines” as well as we used to do and mobility problems seem to affect more of us these days. For these reasons, radio plays seemed an ideal format and way forward for us, and we hope that by focussing on the issues that affect a lot of older people will help raise awareness.

Loneliness for older people can cause and exacerbate physical and mental health problems.

For instance quoting research carried out, 1 in 3 older people are affected by loneliness and 1 in 10 visit their GP's because they are lonely.

Rehearsing our current production, ”A Little On the Lonely Side” has reduced some of our cast to tears on several occasions as the words have  really hit home. This concerned me as our weekly get together is usually full of laughter and I didn't like to leave the group on a low. Consequently I decided to combat this situation by collecting some comedy play sets from the library and finish the evenings with play reading to lighten the mood and end the nights on a good laugh.

All the group are having a great time being ”radio stars ”as they put it , and Joan our eldest member at 90 years said ”Fame at last! I'm awaiting my Oscar!” Having a community radio station such as Future Radio in Norwich has certainly opened doors for us.

Sheila Moore - Volunteer Activities Support Worker at Ashby court, Norwich.

You can hear the Ashby Court Entertainers plays on www.futureradio.co.uk (featured podcasts)

Future Radio 107.8FM, DAB and online futureradio.co.uk

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