Letchworth-based hospice scores a hit as Sharon and Harry win first Strictly dance competition

PUBLISHED: 16:55 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 20 November 2018

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

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Garden House Hospice Care held its first Strictly Come Dancing-inspired fundraiser in Letchworth on Saturday, and it was 10s all round on the night.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Over the past two months, five couples and two individuals have been busy in the ballroom, learning how to Lindy Hop, jive and Charleston with lessons from Guinness World Record holders JiveSwing.

Saturday saw the culmination of their hard work as they performed in the first Strictly Come Jive & Swing event in front of a packed Spirella Ballroom audience, hoping to impress family, friends and the judging panel alike.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018 contestants. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018 contestants. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Royston-based hospice chairman John Procter, Miss Hertfordshire Kate Gee-Finch from Hitchin and Stevenage mayor Margaret Notley joined Comet and Royston Crow editor Nick Gill in dishing out their verdicts and all-important judges’ scores – met with a few boos but plenty of cheers.

First to take the floor on the night were Jess Carter from Stevenage and Harry Folgate, who works within the fundraising team at the hospice.

The Strictly Come Jive & Swing judges (left to right): Comet & Royston Crow editor Nick Gill, Miss Herts Kate Gee-Finch, Stevenage mayor Margaret Notley and hospice chairman John Procter. Picture: Marcus JacksonThe Strictly Come Jive & Swing judges (left to right): Comet & Royston Crow editor Nick Gill, Miss Herts Kate Gee-Finch, Stevenage mayor Margaret Notley and hospice chairman John Procter. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Next up was Dr Sarah Bell, the hospice’s medical director, and her husband Reverend Terrance Bell, the vicar of Kings Walden, Offley and Lilley.

Businesswoman Katie Simmons from Stevenage then performed solo, before Patricia Ling from Garden House Solicitors and Simon Lloyd, a Herts-based chiropractor, were the last couple to dance before the interval.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing host Joseph Sewell on the mic. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing host Joseph Sewell on the mic. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Afterwards it was the turn of Garden House Hospice Care patient Caroline Mayo, from Royston, whose dance partner Graham had agreed to join her on the floor just four weeks earlier.

Claire Harding put together a solo Charleston performance, before the competition concluded with Tollers Solicitors’ Sharon Brown and her partner Harry Johnson, an IT sales executive, whose parents met for the first time on Saturday.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Jess Carter and Harry Folgate perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Jess Carter and Harry Folgate perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

It proved a cause for the celebration after the couple were declared the winners thanks to four 10s from the judges and a strong showing in the audience vote.

Event organiser Jake Amos said: “Huge thanks to all of our dancers for working so hard and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones all in aid of the hospice. The routines, passion and commitment from all participants were incredible and ensured our first Strictly event went off with a glittery bang!

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Jess Carter and Harry Folgate wait for the judges' comments. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Jess Carter and Harry Folgate wait for the judges' comments. Picture: Andrew Hyde

“Thanks also to JiveSwing, the Spirella Ballroom, Hitchin Camera Club, Phillips Digital and to everyone else who supported this fantastic evening of dancing delights.”

With final fundraising totals being counted, the hospice hopes to raise £10,000 in support of palliative care for the community they serve.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Reverend Terrance Bell and Dr Sarah Bell. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Reverend Terrance Bell and Dr Sarah Bell. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Would you like to take part in the next charity challenge for Garden House Hospice Care? Visit www.ghhospicecare.org.uk/support-us/events for more information or call the fundraising team on 01462 679540.

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Reverend Terrance Bell and Dr Sarah Bell perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Reverend Terrance Bell and Dr Sarah Bell perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Katie Simmons performs. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Katie Simmons performs. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Katie Simmons performs. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Katie Simmons performs. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd - Tish & Si - perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd - Tish & Si - perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd - Tish & Si - perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd - Tish & Si - perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown perform. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate with event organiser Jake Amos. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate with event organiser Jake Amos. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate with the organisers. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate with the organisers. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown celebrate. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown with the trophy, Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown with the trophy, Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 201: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown. Picture: Andrew HydeStrictly Come Jive & Swing 201: Winning couple Harry Johnson and Sharon Brown. Picture: Andrew Hyde

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Folgate and his bear. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Folgate and his bear. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Folgate and Jess Carter perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Harry Folgate and Jess Carter perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: NINE! The judges give their scores.Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: NINE! The judges give their scores.Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd receiving the first 10. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Patricia Ling and Simon Lloyd receiving the first 10. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Caroline Mayo and dance partner Graham perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Claire Harding performs. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson in action. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson in action. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson in action. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson in action. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: It was 10s all round for Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: It was 10s all round for Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Another 10 for Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: Another 10 for Sharon Brown and Harry Johnson. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform.  Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

Strictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus JacksonStrictly Come Jive & Swing 2018: JiveSwing dancers perform. Picture: Marcus Jackson

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