As some of you may already be aware, we lost our former chair and long-time supporter of
Beckenham Theatre, Melanie Jones, to cancer on Tuesday, 8th November, less than a year
after moving to Charing in Kent, with her husband, Malcolm and daughter, Raven. Beckenham
Theatre trustees and members join Malcolm and Raven in mourning the loss of a
a wonderful person who loved our theatre and the members who made up the BTC
Melanie’s funeral was on Tuesday, 29th November at 1 pm at St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church in
Charing, near Ashford, Kent. Full details are available via this link: Tribute to Melanie Jones 1964 – 2022 where you can also make a donation in her memory.
Malcolm has passed the beautiful obituary below to us, written by David Savill, the Artistic
Director of Age Exchange where both he and Melanie worked and has kindly given us
permission to republish it for Beckenham Theatre members and visitors to our website.
It is with great sadness that Malcolm Jones contacted me last night to let us know that Mel
passed away just after 7 pm.
I know some of you were very fortunate to work with Mel and really loved her. She was a
massive part of the Age Exchange family. Her work as a RAP – (a very talented community
musician and mezzo-soprano) co-delivering Tuesday Day Care from its very beginning and for
over 5 years, and running other groups too, was absolutely exceptional.
She had such a talent to encourage conversation, to bring music to the group, to give people the ability to sing and love to sing…all her work was inspired and influenced by the lives of participants. Mel did not see anything as a problem. She did not see a person’s diagnosis but saw each person as a potential singer, artist, and valued member of the group. She created very strong relationships with family carers and her work helped strengthen their resilience and helped them reconnect with their loved ones through singing together, reminiscing together, and being together in a loving and supportive environment.
With her co-workers and with volunteers Mel embraced being part of a team with shared
values and exceptional empathy and creativity. She had the best sense of humour and
made sure mischief and laughter were encouraged at every opportunity and at the heart of
every group. But she also took very seriously the role that music and singing in particular
could play in people’s lives. She used her skill to teach group members how to sing to a
high standard. And I know Catherine, who volunteered and supported Mel and Amy at
Day Care for years always said, everyone valued coming to the group “to learn” and to be
As some of you may know, Mel
battled cancer for the last four
years. But never did she let it
affect the work she did here,
never did she complain or moan that life had thrown her a curve ball. She came to every session prepared and ready to bring joy through music to the group. Zoe described her to me yesterday as a warrior Queen, like Boadicea, full of fight and determination, an inspiration to all of us who knew and worked with her. We are blessed that she came to Age Exchange because she had such a remarkable and positive impact on the lives of all those she worked to support. And Mel always took time to care for her co-workers and volunteers. She was a great friend.
I know you would all want me to pass
on your love and condolences to
Malcolm and Raven. Malcolm wanted
to thank all of you for the support you
have given Mel and the family these
I very much hope in the New Year that we will be able to host a celebration of Mel’s life here at Age Exchange with lots of music and for all her Age Exchange family of which Malcolm and Raven are an integral part. I realise this is very upsetting news. Please do call me if you’d like to talk.
David Savill – Artistic Director, Age Exchange
9th November 2022