Members of a South West theatre group have put their talents to work to raise money for Weston Hospicecare, after the charity cared for one of their own.

Octopus Drama Group is based in Thornbury, but counted Weston’s Graham Grey among its number before his death from stomach cancer back in July.

However, the close-knit group wanted to say a thank you to the hospice for supporting Graham in his final months, and so organised a revue night to raise money in memory of the 57-year-old father-of-two.

Octopus vice-chairman Nick Baskerville said: “Graham had been coming here for a number of years, and the group was like a second family to him.

“When fighting a particularly nasty stomach cancer, he was visiting Weston Hospicecare on a regular basis as a day patient, knowing that one day he would end up being admitted.

“Our event was a northern revue, held in celebration of Graham and to try to make ourselves feel a bit better after losing him.”

The night featured a number of different performances, including light-hearted theatrical duets, monologues and comedy, and also featured an auction of promises, with items ranging from drum lessons and babysitting to kayak lessons and Premier League football tickets.

Around 40 of the group’s members took part, with those who were unable to attend also offering donations from afar.

Altogether, the event raised £700 for Weston Hospicecare.

Another Octopus member, Will Titcomb, said: “We all remember Graham fondly – he loved to play a baddie, with his distinctive Bolton accent.

“Everybody loved him, and they were all happy to put their hands in their pockets to help a charity which did so much for him.”

Weston Hospicecare’s annual running costs total £4.2million a year, but only one fifth of that amount is met by the NHS – the rest must be raised locally, through events, the hospice’s shops and community donations such as the one from Octopus.

Hospice fundraiser Simon Angear said: “It means a lot to everyone at Weston Hospicecare to receive support from people who have seen for themselves how our work has helped their family or friends.

“We know Graham’s friends from Octopus Drama Group visited him during his time at the hospice, and we are touched that they have now returned to make such a wonderful donation.

“A huge thank you to everyone who played a part in this fabulous event, and to all those who dug deep to support us – we are hugely grateful for your help.”

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