Mid Summer 2019

The OLGBT Wellbeing Project, funded by the People’s Health Trust with money raised from the Health Lottery in the West Midlands,  has come to the end of the second series of Bread Making Workshops with inspirational Susan Clarke. We have enjoyed the sessions, having fun and building friendships whilst learning new skills and techniques. These workshops have the additional treat of delicious edibles to take home…such as croissants, breakfast muffins, rye bread, crumpets, Eccles cakes and brioche. Yum!

Stoke Pride

Despite torrential downpours, the OLGBT group’s stall attracted more visitors than at any previous Pride. Maybe it was the new gazebos paid for by the People’s Health Trust award, perhaps it was the captivating displays of photos of the group’s activities, of course it might just have been people wanting to shelter from the rain. No matter, the fact remains that people really engaged with us… wanting to know more about the group and its activities. We also had a record number of people signing up to our mailing list to keep in touch.

 National AIDS Trust

Early in June, I attended the launch of ‘looped in’, a new online HIV resource which permits the selecting, saving and sharing of content from NAT’s vast database of campaigns, fact sheets, research and survey reports. At the same time, I was able to meet up with cherished individuals who had not seen in ages, as well as making contact with informed and enthusiastic activists. Of course, it was also an excuse for a day trip to London.

Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery

Later in the month, I was invited to be Quiz Master for the NAT Big Quiz. For round 4 of the quiz, Stephen Fry took over…well not in person…just a recording he’d made earlier. It was an enjoyable, fun evening where all the participants worked for the NHS. An opportunity to engage with staff from our local hospital.  Fabulous!

Commemorative Events

There seems to have been an unusual number of commemorations recently to which I have received invitations. The New Vic Theatre’s  award winning Borderlines celebrated 20 years of  positive impact…Although I have contributed in only a tiny way…I feel proud to have been associated with Sue Moffat’s inspirational, ground-breaking work. In June, Letting in the Light held its 21st Birthday Party in their new home at B-Arts. On Thursday 4th July, it was the turn of ASIST to mark its Jubilee of 25 years of advocacy work. At all of these events I have been reunited with old friends, made new ones and established networking links with some of the community groups to which I belong.

It’s no secret that I get a buzz out of performing. Imagine my delight when I was invited to sing with ladies from Staffordshire Community Choirs yesterday. Whilst I’m not exactly a stranger to Ashley Mellor’s arrangements, his setting of a Beatles Song had me foxed. It turned out that what had been agreed in rehearsals was not what was written in the score. The 25th Anniversary of ASIST was a wonderful event and the musical contribution by the Community Choir, directed from the keyboard by Trudy substituting for Ashley, provided an uplifting finale.

Poster advertising our performance at last year’s Live Age Festival

Next week I will be rehearsing and performing with FRONTLINEdance at the Staffordshire 2019 Dignity in Care Awards at Newcastle College Performing Arts Centre. The following week I will be travelling down to Suffolk with members of the New Vic Ages and Stages Theatre Company to take part in the opening ceremony of the 2019 Latitude Festival.  This will be my first ever open air festival…with the additional challenge of camping. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Well it’s keeping me out of mischief!

About Maurice Greenham

Musician, actor, writer, student, art lover, global traveller. Gay man living with HIV for over 35 years...and enjoying life in his 70s. Speaks Spanish, French and German as well as English. Although German was the language he studied most recently, it is the one with which he has most difficulty. Competent pianist and becoming more competent as an organist. Normally sing tenor in a choir, but can also manage bass parts. Had a successful career in professional theatre which he loved... until it ended with enforced retirement because of an AIDS diagnosis in 1994 when Maurice was given 6 months to live. Before that worked in education as a teacher/lecturer in music and drama.
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