BBC show Strictly Come Dancing has inspired a fundraising event for St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon that raised more than £42,000.
The popular fundraiser, which is now its fourth year, sees budding dancers paired with professionals to compete for the Strictly St. Luke’s trophy.
This year, nine couples took part and each performed both a Latin and a Ballroom dance for a panel of judges and a sold-out audience after months of rigorous training.
The judges included professional dancers James Goodman, son of dancer and TV personality Len Goodman, Cheryl O’Leary, Tony Wiejski and long-term supporter of St. Luke’s Hospice Peter Davies.
More than 500 people attended the fundraiser at the Civic Hall in Grays, which was compered by local radio presenter David Webster.
One of the winners of the night was Chloe Holdsworth. “I have always had a strong passion for dancing and have previously fundraised for St Luke’s Hospice” she said. “Mixing the two together is just amazing! St. Luke’s Hospice is so admirable – the work they do and services they provide are outstanding which is exactly why I am taking part.”
The event is organised by St. Luke’s Hospice and dancer Lynda King, who runs Lynda King Dance Ltd. Over the last four years, the event has raised more than £100,000 for the charity.
Leanne Stewart, Corporate Fundraiser at St. Luke’s Hospice, said: “This has been another fantastic year. The dancers have all come such a long way and trained hard, which was clear in the level we saw on the dancefloor.
“A huge thank you goes to everyone who supported Strictly. St. Luke’s and helped raise money for the hospice, including the dancers who spent months training and fundraising, the judges, the audience and Lynda King, who helps organise the event.“
Money raised at Strictly St. Luke’s will support the Hospice in running vital services to support those living with life-limiting conditions.
St Luke’s isn’t the only hospice to be inspired by the popular BBC programme – in May Rowans Hospice in Hampshire is hosting its own dancing contest.
For more information visit St Luke’s Hospice