Johnny Vegas helps Theatre Royal St Helens donate stock to vulnerable people in the area - The Guide Liverpool

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Johnny Vegas helps Theatre Royal St Helens donate stock to vulnerable people in the area


Theatre Royal St Helens usually relies on its panto dame to dish out sweets to an excited audience but today it relied on Johnny Vegas to hand out the goodies.

The town’s hero, who’s been working hard for The Steve Prescott Foundation and the Eccleston Arms Essential Store throughout lockdown, took delivery of hundred of pounds worth of stock from the theatre to give to a host of charities in the area.

General manager Chantelle Nolan said:

“We are used to bringing joy to people and putting smiles on their faces but it’s normally through our productions and, especially, our famous pantos.

“It was a little bit different today but we’re delighted to have spread a little happiness and that Johnny Vegas – who has appeared in our panto in the past – helped us to do it.”

Chantelle said they’d sprung into action when manager Michael Randolph had gone in make checks at the Corporation Street theatre and realised there was a mountain of front-of-house sweets and confectionery and soft drinks which could have gone out of date by the time the theatre is able to re-open.

She explained: “We have had to close the theatre during lockdown and, with no idea of when we will be able to reopen again, there’s every chance the sweets and drinks could have gone out of date beforehand which would have been such a waste.

“We wanted it to go to good causes and so contacted Gary Maddock at the council for ideas, and he got in touch with the Steve Prescott Foundation. As if by magic and the wave of a panto fairy wand, it’s all now gone to good homes. We’ve been told the Fruit Shoots, for instance, will be used in packed lunches going out to children.”

The Steve Prescott Foundation Charity which raises funds for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund, Christies Hospital and special causes, gave the stock to local charities including Teardrops, which supports the homeless and vulnerable in St Helens, and The Hope Centre, which provides support, training and advice to those affected by unemployment, homelessness, drugs and alcohol.

“It’s nice for everyone to see the theatre giving something back to the town, something we were more than happy to do.”

Steve Prescott played Rugby League for St Helens, Hull, Wakefield, Ireland and was a GB Lions Tourist. In September 2006 he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and was given months to live. Despite this, Steve went on to create and complete charity challenges to raise funds for research – and The Steve Prescott Foundation was born.

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