Rasen Lions create a touch of ‘Stardust’

Sara Sprague with members of the Lions EMN-180417-082654001
Sara Sprague with members of the Lions EMN-180417-082654001

A Walesby mum is helping young people with additional needs take centre stage and live life to the full.

Sara Sprague is part of Stardust, a group that helps young people, with a passion for musicals, develop their love of performing.

Stardust only began last year and with the help of charitable groups, such as Market Rasen Lions, is now a flourishing group offering a creative outlet for those aged 18 to 30 with additional needs.

Sara said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us get established.

“We started with absolutely nothing and have had to do a lot of fundraising to get where we are now.

“My son James, who is a drama specialist, and his friends put on a fundraising concert, which raised £2,000

“We were then very lucky to be one of the Market Rasen Tesco Bags of Help choices in the run up to Christmas, which saw us receive £2,000, which was a massive help to us.

“A group from Stardust took part in the Lincoln Santa Run too, which was great fun.”

The group, which meets in St Francis School, Lincoln, caters for young people with a wide range of additional needs and they work with drama specialists to put on short shows, with the scripts tailored to fit the people using the service.

Stardust works with the New Youth Theatre, based at Bishop Grosseteste University and their first production was a version of Christmas Carol, which they managed to put together in just six weeks.

They then took part in a Christmas fundraiser at Walesby Village Hall.

Sara said: “We have learnt a lot about our young people, but the main thing is they want to be quite independent.

“The group helps them build confidence and they can just be themselves.

“They get a great sense of achievement from taking part - they really are amazing and I am excited to see what they will do next.”

Sara’s own daughter, who is limited in going out and about due to severe epilepsy, takes part in the group.

Sara continued: “We have a lot of illness with our young people, so we have a mix of additional needs and able-bodied people in the group who all work together.

“The sessions really are a highlight of the week for our young people.”

And as an offshoot to Stardust, the young people have also formed their own social groups.

Sara added: “A number of our young people are from Market Rasen, so they now meet up regularly in town too, which is fantastic.”

The next production for Stardust is their version of the Lion King - The Circle of Life, which will performed at St Francis School in Lincoln in May.