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Valley Parade Fire Drama Raises Money for the University of Bradford's Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit


Members of the FYSA theatre company have raised money for the University's Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU)

The theatre company has raised £500 for the unit so far, through profits from the show they performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival entitled 'The 56' based on real-life testimonies from witnesses and survivors of The Bradford City Fire.

‘The 56’ is a play that represents the amalgamation of spoken witness accounts, primary resources and written testimonies from the Bradford City FC Fire. The script came about after members of the company attended a memorial service at Centenary Square, Bradford, which marked 29 years since the Valley Parade fire.

Eight members of the Theatre Group will come to the University to present a cheque to Mr Ajay Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of the Unit and Prof Des Tobin, the Director for Centre for Skin Sciences who is responsible for the academic supervision of researchers in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit.

Matt Stevens-Woodhead from the FYSA Theatre Company, said: “The reason that FYSA Theatre has donated £500 to the University’s Burns Research Unit is because we want to help to support the ground-breaking research and training they facilitate.

“Over the past few months, we have interviewed and met several people who were significantly burnt in the Bradford City Fire. They were all fortunate enough to have made a full recovery due to the work of Prof David Sharpe and his team. We hope that our contribution will go some way in helping those who are similarly burnt to make a full recovery. We hope to be able to keep raising money for the burns unit in our future projects.”

Mr Ajay Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Director of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, said: “We at the research unit are very grateful to the members of the FYSA theatre company for their generosity. It is gestures such as these that keep the memories of the 56 alive amongst us and help us towards our efforts to improve health care through our research activities."

The theatre group is also scheduled to perform the play in regional theatres in the Spring of 2015, this includes the Alhambra Studio in Bradford, April 23 - 25. They plan to continue to donate some of the proceeds of the show to the PSBRU. This will be launched alongside an educational outreach initiative that aims to educate the younger generation about The Bradford City Fire. This will be achieved through a series of workshops that will be free of charge to schools in the local area.

FYSA is an independent theatre company committed to a series of local works within the community.

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