Call to Action: The ‘Ali Barrel’ Challenge

17 May 2021

In 2019 Motor Neurone Disease sadly took the life of one of the greatest characters and theatre lighting professionals, Alistair Grant. He was taken far too soon, and we would like too show our support and raise funds to help research and combat this terrible disease by launching The ‘Ali Barrel’ Challenge.

This year Jim Bristow and Rob Auton have set themselves the task of not only running both the London and Brighton marathons on Sep 12th and Oct 3rd respectively. BUT ALSO, to get a #TeamAli group of family, friends and colleagues to complete the 54 Miles between the two cities virtually – and we need your help!

Both Jim and Rob were colleagues of Ali on only a small number of the vast amount of shows that he worked on in his career. A true legend of not only the West End, but also a number of Touring Productions both Nationally and Internationally. In fact you would struggle to name a show he wasn’t involved in was his influence on theatre lighting so great. Fondly known as ‘Ali Barrel’ and remembered by all who knew him for his generosity, caring nature, outstanding work ethic and love of beer! The ‘Ali Barrel’ Challenge is our dedication to him, his family and all that knew and loved him. We want to make it one of the biggest fundraising drives of the year to raise money for the Motor Neurone Association in his name.

‘Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing neurological condition affecting up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. Many people become locked in a failing body unable to move, talk & eventually breathe. MND does not usually affect senses such as sight, hearing & touch. The MND Association focuses on improving access to care and campaigning for those living with & affected by MND in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. We fund & promote research that leads to new understandings & treatments bringing us ever closer to a cure. Your help will play a vital role in supporting people living with MND, their families & friends and to bring forward current research projects that may well be able to decrease the symptoms of so many.’ 

Pamela Fry from MNDA


‘How can I help?’ I hear you ask…

Anyone and everyone can make a difference, however big or small – but hopefully big! And there are many ways you can get involved and be part of #TeamAli…

– Sign up as an individual, group or business, to be part of the Brighton to London Virtual Run and complete a mile wherever you are, how ever you fancy – the more original the better. We already have running, walking, canoeing and pushing a flight case to name but a few!

– Keep your eyes peeled for information on ‘The Ali Mile’ which will be a pub crawl in London taking in some of our favourite West End establishments and fundraising along the way

– Set up a Fundraiser at your place of work (and we have plenty of ideas if you need any inspiration)

– And finally even just donating on our Just Giving page at the link below

We will provide any resources you need for fundraising and will support you every step of the way. There will be fliers, volunteers and t-shirts available to be worn for any publicity, and be sure to follow and tag @allibarrelchallenge (Instagram), @barrelali (Twitter) and The ‘Ali Barrel’ Challenge (Facebook).

Please get in touch via our Email and/or Mobile Numbers below if you want any more information and let’s aim to raise as much as we can for this incredible charity and most worthy of causes!

#fillthebarrel #lightinglegs #alibarrelchallenge