Strictly dance fundraiser raises more than £9000 for Strathcarron

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A Strictly Come Dancing-style fundraiser has raised more than £9000 for Strathcarron Hospice’s children bereavement service.

The Strictly Spectacular, organised by Falkirk Strathcarron supporter Audrey Morrison, was held at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel in Grangemouth and featured a live competition with volunteers partnered with dance professionals.

There were demonstrations from current Scottish ballroom dance champions Hilary Mouat and Tibor Póč, Dancedreams Commercial dance team and youngsters who trained and took part in the STV Appeal’s Strictly for Kids event.

Local volunteer dancers included Lisa Martin, William Stewart, Dave Godsman, Willie McGibbon and Aileen Eland.

Helen Bruce, schools co-ordinator at Strathcarron was guest judge and announced Lisa Martin and Graham Fox as the winning couple while Willie McGibbon and Ellen Caw took runners-up prize.

Proceeds from the event will be used to help young people and children aged six to 18 years who have experienced loss and changes in their everyday life.

Through the Seasons for Growth programme, trained staff help individuals deal with loss and change to their lives in a safe, educational and fun environment.

Audrey, who is a soroptimist and also a former dancer herself, paid tribute to everyone involved in making the evening such a success.

She said: “I would really like to thank Lynne Buchanan, hair and beauty student from Forth Valley College and Diane Cox from BumbleBee photography who provided their services for free.

“Thanks also to all the dancers who volunteered and trained very hard, the Scottish dance pros who provided training, the Dance Dreams commercial team and local companies who generously provided raffle prizes and also to all my friends and family for their support.

“It was an amazing event to be part of and was such a success that I’ve been asked to do it again in the future which is fantastic.”

Jackie Johnston, Strathcarron’s fundraising manager said: “At Strathcarron Hospice we recognise the death of someone important can impact on everyone, no matter what their age.

“For children and young people this experience can be a roller coaster of emotions which is why we run Seasons Groups, designed specifically for six to 18 year olds. “These groups are run by trained staff over a period of eight weeks and children are spilt into the appropriate age bands so they can explore their feeling together in a safe, educational and fun environment.

“Just like adults, they are supported to understand what has happened and live with their loss.

“We welcome all children and young people from across the area, whether or not their loss has a connection through the Hospice.”We are delighted to receive this donation to fund child bereavement groups and it will be used in its entirety to support children and young people at a difficult time in their lives.

“A massive thank you and well done to everyone who made this possible.”