The true story of one family’s struggle to get care for their elderly parents amid serious health challenges will be showcased in North Yorkshire this week.

‘Fighting for Life’ - by award-winning playwright Brian Daniels - tells the story of Jim and Joan, and their respective battles with motor neurone disease and dementia and documents how their family fought a chaotic and disjointed health and social care system to get them the care they needed.

The play, which premiered in 2018 at the Marie Curie Hospice in London, is to be performed at The Forum in Northallerton on Wednesday (October 4).

Darlington and Stockton Times: The cast of Fighting for Life rehearsing for the play, to be performed in Northallerton on WednesdayThe cast of Fighting for Life rehearsing for the play, to be performed in Northallerton on Wednesday (Image: YORKSHIRE CARE ALLIANCE)

It is free to attend and would be of particular interest to those in local authorities, education and social care.

Mr Daniels said: “The play is based on the Findlay Report which was written and produced by Jim and Joan’s family 13 years ago and has since been used as an education tool about how things can be handled better in future.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The original Joan and James, the play's main charactersThe original Joan and James, the play's main characters (Image: YORKSHIRE CARE ALLIANCE)

"It’s as relevant today as it was then and documents the challenges we could all face in older life. I am very proud to be associated with the play and with the Findlay family.”

Each performance is followed by a panel discussion including a Q&A with the audience which is an integral part of the event.

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The performance is the grand finale in a series of events put on by a new charity to support and educate people who work in social care.

Launched earlier this month, Yorkshire Care Alliance (YCA), was set up by learning disability nurse Angela Fletcher.

She has worked in the care sector all her career and for the past 10 years has run Happy Future Support Specialists in Scarborough to support individuals with complex care needs and severe autism.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Angela Fletcher of the Yorkshire Care AllianceAngela Fletcher of the Yorkshire Care Alliance (Image: YORKSHIRE CARE ALLIANCE)

At the Great British Care Awards in 2021, she won the Regional Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Care.

She said: “We saw Brian’s work at The House of Commons earlier this year and we knew it was the perfect vehicle to help us launch the charity so we commissioned him immediately.

"Most of us who work in the care sector know a story just like Jim and Joan so I hope it resonates with all who come and see it.”

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The charity’s CEO Nick Swash said: “The purpose of the YCA is to try and collaborate with everyone involved in the care industry, share expertise and ideas and work together.

"We have identified six areas in which people need support, and these were addressed in the events we held across the region. We’re delighted that these will culminate in a grand finale – Brian’s play. To find out more and book tickets, visit our website.”

  • The event is free and open to all in the care sector. It takes place at 1pm on Wednesday, October 4 at The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton.  Places can be booked via the charity’s website at