A COUPLE have turned their joy of live music into a cause very special to them – hosting a charity fundraiser in honour of a loved one.
Sharon Thompson, and her singer husband Neil, are holding the Rock 4 Dementia event at Hangar 34 in Liverpool next month. The venue will accommodate 500 people and the pair have already sold half of the tickets!
Sharon, an advertising sales representative at the Champion, and Neil, deputy manager at Dunelm furnishing firm in Aintree, are aiming to raise at least £5,000 for charity Dementia UK in honour of Sharon’s 83-year-old mum, Gladys, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia nine years ago.
Caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, the conditon affects around 150,000 people in the UK. Symptoms include difficulty with understanding, concentration, mood, personality changes, and difficulty keeping balance.
Sharon cared for her mum at home for many years, but her condition rapidly progressed around three years ago and she had to move into a specialised 24-hour care environment.
The gig, starting at 6pm on Saturday, March 28, will feature performances from indie bands Pigshoes (for whom Neil is a singer) as well as The Left Backs and The Extras.
There will also be an auction of specially-signed merchandise from the Undertones, Steve Diggle and Buzzcocks, the Skids, Hugh Cornwell, the Stereophonics and John Cooper Clarke. For footy fans, there will also be a signed Everton club ball and Liverpool FC merchandise.
Sharon said: “I’m proud to say my mum has taken every stage of her dementia in her stride. Now beginning the final stages of the condition, she has trouble speaking and swallowing. She is now bed-bound, but can still muster a beautiful smile for those she loves.
“It’s a heartbreaking time for the family so we’ve decided to do something positive and arrange this event to give something back for the support we have received from various networks, including Dementia UK’s website.
“Dementia UK offers a huge amount of support to families and they can also help with the financial and legal issues, as well as offering helpful advice of how to look after yourself as a carer.”
Tickets are £10. Call Sharon on 07763 657 468; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit rock4dementia.uk.