LEADERS are graduates of the Elders Company who volunteer to support the Elders programme and shape its development.

The LEADERS contribute to the life of our Theatre as well as the wider city-region by supporting their peers to take part and developing their own artistic projects.
In 2019/2020, the Leaders helped facilitate the smooth running of our Elders Mondays programme. In December 2019, they created a performance for the City’s Older People’s Board hosted by Age-Friendly Manchester and the Lord Mayor.

The Leaders also supported the development of our Dementia café sessions which involved working with industry specialists Small Things. Creative Projects. DEMENTIA CAFÉ included training and facilitating opportunities for our Elders Leaders who then supported creative drama sessions led with Small Things for people living with Dementia.

“Ralph, when he has talking, we haven’t seen him like that for a very long time, he’s usually quiet.” Dawn Linnie, Be Well Plus Worker, Age UK Tameside

During the pandemic the LEADERS identified a gap in provision for older people who were struggling to take part online, so with us they initiated and coordinated PHONE A FRIEND.

Participants were partnered with a Leader, who contacted them four times on the phone for a 30-minute call during a two-week period. During each call, the pair had a chat, caught up and explored some creative questions so that together they created a story. The project was rolled out twice between April and August and 18 brand new stories were created. Nine of them have now been recorded (at home by participants learning new digital skills) and have been broadcast on community station, Sonder Radio and are also available on our website: PHONE A FRIEND

THE 2020/2021 LEADERS
Bernard Leach, Bill Connor, Catherine Foulkes, Christine Ovens, Christine Connor, David Weston, Donald McGregor, Dudley Newall, Estelle Longmore, Gill Bassam, Gordon Emerson, Graham Gillis, Jackie Corr, Jean Wood, Lorraine Reynolds, Maureen Stirpe, Sandy Parkinson, Tony Cocker