Colin Grainger

Star Ricky and friends aiming to help charity in his own backyard reach new heights

It’s fitting that a comedy night to raise money for a charity that makes a big difference  to the lives of disadvantaged and disabled young people is being staged at the Backyard Comedy Club.

For it is being staged in the backyard of the man behind it, comedian, actor and writer Ricky Grover. Two years ago Ricky became a patron of Canning Town’s Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, (AAA) whose mission is to provide activities and experiences for young people that build confidence and expand minds.

He was born just around the corner and the charity is close to his heart.

Ricky is talking at the Terence Brown Arc In The Park in Bethell Avenue.

“I am honoured to be a patron and really believe this charity is making a difference. Firms and businesses are also helping by decorating and renovating this place. I’m a believer in doing a good deed. If you do, the good comes back to you.”

  • Ricky at the Terence Brown Arc In the Park this week

Ricky has known AAA founder Kevin Jenkins and Paula Blake, who manages the Arc, for some years. “I trust them completely and know that every penny that is raised will go to the young people, the people who need it most. They have great reputations and what they are doing with their teams is something special.”

The event takes place on Sunday March 8 at Backyard and tickets are selling fast for the fundraiser.

Tim Vine, Tom Allen, Angela Barnes, Ninia Benjamin, David Ward and Tom Stade  will join Ricky, who thanked owner Lee Hurst who offered the venue for free.

  • The stars supporting Ricky’s big night

“Comedians get bombarded with requests for charity gigs, but so many big names wanted to be involved with this one is because I’ve told them about all the hard work everyone involved puts in.”

This is the second comedy fundraiser Ricky has organised, the first in 2018  raising £7,000. AAA works with young people of varying ages, abilities and backgrounds, boasting two notable outdoor spaces where they can thrive at the Terence Brown Arc In The Park and the Glyn Hopkin Abbey Hub. Ricky describes AAA’s work as “priceless”. He said: “When you come in here and see one of the kids smiling, you can’t buy that.”

Ricky spoke about his dyslexia while growing up and though he has gone on to be successful, he believes that having a centre like AAA would have helped him when he was young. Ricky wants to do more for the young people in Newham, an area he considers ‘rife with talent’.

He is currently writing a comedy with his daughter.

The experiences young people are getting through AAA provide a tremendous opportunity for children to explore possibilities they might not ordinarily have. “Through them, they gain confidence and build self esteem, giving them a firm foundation to bridge the gap between youth and adulthood,” said Ricky.

Ricky believes the message contained in the charity’s title is a brilliant philosophy for young people in Newham. The former ladies’ hairdresser and boxer could not read or write until he was 30.

“People from our manor can achieve and aspire to do great things – with ambition.

Former Trinity School pupil Ricky has supported Kevin and Paula, and the Newham Recorder in the past by backing the Christmas Toy Appeal, a campaign that has now run for more than 42 years.

“My mum lives in East Ham. Seeing how the children have progressed with the love and care they get is really terrific.”

Tickets can be obtained online for £20 in advance or £25 on the night.

Book your tickets here:

Ricky is on Twitter @RickyGroverUK and Ambition, Aspire, Achieve are @theaaazone

Ricky and AAA can also be found on Facebook, Ricky under his name and AAA at



Pictures: Colin Grainger



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This article was written on 08 Feb 2020, and is filed under AAA, Ambition Aspire Achieve, Canning Town, Ricky Grover.

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