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Charity delivers over 18,000 care kits and 15,000 food boxes in aid of local communities in 2021

OVER 18,000 care kits, 15,000 food boxes, and 2,450 Christmas themed food parcels have been delivered to individuals, families, and organisations across the UK, including Liverpool, by the Rapid Relief Team (RRT), in the charity's efforts to address some of our society's biggest challenges in 2021. The RRT is a supporter of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, and works with local community groups to address food poverty.

The charity, compromised of volunteers from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, is dedicated to supporting local communities, by participating in a wide range of activities, including:- assisting the emergency services during major incidences, combating homelessness and food poverty, and providing resources for vulnerable children.

Over the last year, the RRT has worked with organisations across the country to help those in need and make a difference in local communities, including:- Ronald McDonald House Charities, Fans Supporting Foodbanks, NHS Ambulance Trusts, Fire and Rescue Services, and more.

Throughout 2021, the RRT has provided 18,927 care kits to front line workers containing a range of self care items as a way of thanking their extraordinary efforts this year. The charity has also donated 336 baby care kits for new parents who are struggling financially, which include nappies, wet wipes, baby shampoo, and more to support their transition into parenthood.

The RRT has also collaborated with OneSchool Global to provide over 1,400 education boxes to less fortunate School children, providing snacks and learning materials to ensure they can focus while in School through the charity's Early Bird Learning Programme.

In Liverpool, the RRT has supported the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to fundraise for important causes, and worked with other local community groups to address food insecurity and support vulnerable families.

As we look ahead to 2022, the charity aims to continue supporting vulnerable people across the UK and helping to address some in light of Covid19 and beyond.

Rod Buckley, Director at the Rapid Relief Team UK, said:- "The past year has continued to be exceptionally busy for the Rapid Relief Team, with the impacts of Covid19 still being felt across the UK. We are grateful to our exceptional volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to supporting those most in need in 2021. However, our work is not complete. We will need to redouble our efforts to support key workers and emergency services, just as they have done so for the wider community this winter. Community spirit has been critical in the UK's determination to combat the impacts of Covid19, and for us, the community is core to the work we do."

Liverpool Empire Theatre's exciting Chicago cast announcement!

DAVID Ian in association with Barry and Fran Weissler are delighted to announce that:- ‘Three Degrees' soul sensation Sheila Ferguson will star as:- ‘Mama Morton' in the acclaimed UK and Ireland tour of the international smash hit musical Chicago. Sheila joins the recently announced Russell Watson as:- ‘Billy Flynn,' Faye Brookes as:- ‘Roxie Hart,' Djalenga Scott as:- ‘Velma Kelly,' Jamie Baughan as:- ‘Amos Hart' and B.E. Wong as:- ‘Mary Sunshine.' The cast will appear at the Liverpool Empire, from Monday, 7 February 2022, with full tour schedule now available online at:- ChicagoTheMusical.Com.

The cast is completed by:- Ishmail Aaron, Michelle Andrews, Gabby Antrobus, Delycia Belgrave, Joel Benjamin, Tanisha Mae Brown, Daniel Clift, Callum Fitzgerald, Emily Goodenough, Billie Hardy, Aaron Jenkins, Liam Marcellino, Theo Reece, Hollie Jane Stephens and Harrison Wilde.

Sheila Ferguson is best known as the lead singer of chart topping group:- 'The Three Degrees,' whose hits include:- ‘When Will I See You Again?,' ‘Take Good Care of Yourself' and ‘A Woman In Love.' Her many theatre credits include the musicals:- 'Thoroughly Modern Millie,' 'Soul Train,' 'Oh! What A Night' and 'Respect La Diva' and many pantomime seasons throughout the UK. She has also appeared on television as a contestant on:- 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!' And, as a panellist on ITV's:- 'Loose Women.'

Russell Watson is regarded as 1 of the world's greatest classical singers, having released ten critically acclaimed studio albums. His debut album:- ‘The Voice' held the number 1 chart position in the UK for a record breaking 52 weeks. Throughout his extensive career Watson has collaborated with Meatloaf, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Alexandra Burke, and Luciano Pavarotti. He recently appeared as a contestant on the twentieth series, and castle edition, of ITV's:- 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' His stage credits include:- Parson Nathaniel, in Jeff Wayne's:- 'The War of the Worlds On Tour' and Karl Oscar in the 'English world' premiere of Benny Andersson and 'Björn Ulvaeus' Kristina' preformed at both the Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

Faye Brookes (Roxie Hart) recently reached the final of this year's series of ITV's:- 'Dancing On Ice.' She is best known for her role as Kate Connor in ITV's:- 'Coronation Street,' for which she won a National Television Award. Her theatre credits include:- Princess Fiona in:- 'Shrek' and Elle Woods in:- 'Legally Blonde,' both on national tour, Ann/Edna in:- 'That Day We Sang' Directed by Victoria Wood at Manchester's Royal Exchange, Liesl in:- 'The Sound of Music' at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and Frenchy in:- 'Grease' at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre. Faye's other TV credits include:- Agnes Franklin in:- 'Our Girl' and Helena in:- 'Atlantis,' both for the BBC.

Djalenga Scott's (Velma Kelly) West End credits include:- Lily St Regis in:- 'Annie' at the Piccadilly Theatre, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' at the New London and 'Chicago' at the Adelphi, Cambridge and Garrick Theatres. Her other credits include:- Anita in the national tour of:- 'West Side Story,' Rizzo in:- 'Grease' at Curve Leicester, Magenta in:- 'The Rocky Horror Show' and Carmen in:- 'Fame,' both on European tours, the US tour of:- 'Batman Live' and 'Bombalurina in Cats' at Kilworth House. Djalenga's screen credits include:- Scarlett/Esme in:- 'Trapped' for the BBC and Alexandra in the film:- 'I Give It A Year.'

Set amidst the razzle dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on the side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

Created by the Musical Theatre talents of John Kander, Fred Ebb and legendary Choreographer Bob Fosse, Chicago's sexy, sassy score includes the show stopping songs:- 'Razzle Dazzle,' 'Cell Block Tango,' and 'All That Jazz.' Winner of 6 Tony Awards, 2 Olivier Awards and a Grammy, Chicago is the longest running American musical in Broadway and West End history.

Since it opened in New York in 1996, Chicago has played in 36 countries worldwide and has been performed in:- English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, French, Danish, Japanese and Korean. Worldwide it has been seen by an estimated 33 million people, grossed over $1.7 billion and played over 32,500 performances.

Chicago, which is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival of CHICAGO was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.


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