Letchworth-based hospice scores a hit as Sharon and Harry win first Strictly dance competition
- Credit: Archant
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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!
“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.
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.