Big charity gig organised in aid of Alzheimer’s Society

York Press: Back, from left, George Hall, Heather Findlay, Natalie Anderson, ‘Big Ian’, Jess Morgan, Graham Hodge and Dave Hardy; Front, from left, Martin Ledger, Mick Donnelly and Phil Hardy.        Picture: Marc McGarraghy/ Yellow Mustang Photography Back, from left, George Hall, Heather Findlay, Natalie Anderson, ‘Big Ian’, Jess Morgan, Graham Hodge and Dave Hardy; Front, from left, Martin Ledger, Mick Donnelly and Phil Hardy. Picture: Marc McGarraghy/ Yellow Mustang Photography

A YORK singer and trainer of care workers has organised a special benefit gig for a national charity.

Ian Donaghy, who usually fronts party band Huge, has set up A Night To Remember at York Theatre Royal to support the Alzheimer’s Society and raise money and awareness of dementia throughout the city.

Mr Donaghy, known as Big Ian, works as a conference speaker and trainer for care workers and nurses around the country who work with dementia sufferers.

He wants to help make York more dementia-friendly by highlighting the condition at the concert on April 17.

Artists already confirmed for the event include many of the performers who joined Mr Donaghy at Leeds City Varieties for another charity gig last year, including Jess Morgan, Graham Hodge, Heather Findlay, Toby Burras and the Y Street Band, Boss Caine, Beth McCarthy from The Voice, Heidi Widdop and Chris Helme, who will perform with guitarist Chris Farrell, a worker for The Alzheimer’s Society in York.

Mr Donaghy said: “The idea of the night is that everybody sings songs they grew up with and loved. People may be surprised by the song choices.

“Chris Helme may be singing Tamla Motown, Boss Caine could be belting out a Neil Diamond classic, Heather Findlay could take on Karen Carpenter and I could be singing Wichita Lineman. It’s all about giving families ‘a night to remember’ that they can enjoy together and making a difference for people with dementia in York.”

The gig is sponsored by Smartgate Solutions, which also works with care providers around the city, and all proceeds from the concert will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

A collection will also be made to fund the monthly Harmony Dementia Café in York, which takes place at St Aelred’s Community Centre.

Tickets are now on sale from York Theatre Royal box office priced £9.99.

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