TV presenter to host Strictly Fun Dancing event in aid of Weston Hospicecare

PUBLISHED: 14:24 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 01 February 2018

Martin Roberts, who will host Strictly Fun Dancing for Weston Hospicecare.

Martin Roberts, who will host Strictly Fun Dancing for Weston Hospicecare.

© Black Tie Portraits

Weston Hospicecare is gearing up to host its first ever Strictly Fun Dancing event, and The Mercury is able to reveal exciting details about the glamourous evening.

Ben Hazell and Ali Cooling who are coaching the dancers.Ben Hazell and Ali Cooling who are coaching the dancers.

Well-known TV presenter, Martin Roberts, best known as the presenter of Homes Under The Hammer, will compere the fundraiser’s grand final at the Winter Gardens on March 24.

Twelve couples have begun eight weeks of professional dance training with Ben Hazell from Burning Salsa and his dance partner Ali Cooling.

They will perform one of their routines at the final in front of a panel of judges. Four couples will then progress to the final round and perform a second routine in a bid to be crowned winners.

The event, which also includes a silent auction and social dancing, will be hosted by TV property expert, celebrity and author Martin Roberts, who said: “I’m delighted to be compering this glamorous event in the beautiful Winter Gardens, and more importantly, to be helping raise money for this wonderful, wonderful facility.

“I have personal experience of the incredible work they do, and cannot praise all the team and all the support staff enough.”

The hospice’s event fundraiser, Kelsey Dehaney, said: “We’re really happy to bring the first ever Strictly Fun Dancing final to Weston.

“We’re excited to see all our couples take to the floor, and grateful to Martin for giving up his time to compere the event for us. We couldn’t ask for a better host, and we know our audience is going to be in for a fantastic night out.”

Tickets for the final, priced £15, are available by calling 01934 423960.

Kelsey Dehaney, from Weston Hospicecare, with Ben Hazell who will training the Strictly Fun Dancing contestants.Kelsey Dehaney, from Weston Hospicecare, with Ben Hazell who will training the Strictly Fun Dancing contestants.

Meet the 12 couples vying for the coveted title of Strictly Fun Dancing winners.

Tracey and Wilber

“We’re taking part in Strictly because we absolutely love it on the TV and it’s such a great opportunity to raise money for such a worthy cause.

“My step-dad received end-of-life care at the hospice, after being diagnosed with liver cancer 12 years ago and their support was invaluable.”

(Clockwise) Wilber and Tracey, John and Sarah, Lynn and Mark and Hilary and Chris.(Clockwise) Wilber and Tracey, John and Sarah, Lynn and Mark and Hilary and Chris.

Sarah and John

Sarah works at Weston Hospicecare running its expressive movement therapy group. Sarah and her husband John want to raise money for the wonderful work of the hospice and to share the joy dancing can bring.

Lynn and Mark

Lynn said: “Mark and I are in good health but sadly some people are not. We saw an opportunity to raise money and awareness by doing something we love in a fun and entertaining way that will benefit our local community.”

Hilary and Chris

“The hospice has been there for both of us, and we met doing voluntary work, so we jumped at the chance to learn dancing, to foxtrot, to cha cha, to twerk.

“We will love doing Strictly Fun Dancing, and strut our stuff on the dance floor, raise lots of cash for the hospice, and win the glitter ball.”

Michelle and Tim

(Clockwise) Michelle and Tim, Liz and Miles, Brad and Jen and Lois and Lee.(Clockwise) Michelle and Tim, Liz and Miles, Brad and Jen and Lois and Lee.

“We have a strong history of BRCA2 gene anomaly running through our family, with several members having had some form of cancer or sadly passed away.

“Because of this our family has had the need to use the amazing services provided by the hospice on several occasions, so this is a perfect opportunity for us to raise some much-needed funding for truly remarkable and compassionate organisation.”

Liz and Miles

BBC Points West presenter Liz said: “When people you love are very sick, it becomes clear how valuable respite and end-of-life care can be. We can’t wait to try to help the hospice. It’s the closest we’re ever going to get to Strictly and Miles’ efforts have already had us in stitches.”

Brad and Jen

“We are taking part in this event to spend time together doing something we enjoy, and to challenge ourselves, while raising money for a brilliant local charity.”

Lois and Lee

“We could not have chosen a better charity to support. I sadly lost my mum six months ago with bowel cancer and although she did not need services from the hospice as we managed to nurse her at home, we also know how much support others have; the care these special people and places supply are incredible.”

(Clockwise) Ed and Jo, Sarah and Anita, Dan and Michelle and Tara and Dan.(Clockwise) Ed and Jo, Sarah and Anita, Dan and Michelle and Tara and Dan.

Ed and Joanna

“After a few words of encouragement from our dance group, we decided to give it a shot. We thought ‘why not, it will be a thrill to dance in front of an audience and moreover it’s for a good cause’.”

Sarah and Anita

“Since joining fitstep classes run by Sweet Result Fitness (SRF), we have both fallen back in love with dance. We hope to do the SRF team proud and be a positive influence in encouraging others to take up dance.

“Hospicecare is close to both of our hearts. It has helped and supported our families through some dark times, so this is our chance to give something back.”

Dan and Michelle

Dan and Michelle work together at BWOC, the main event sponsor. They said: “We’re excited to be taking part and nervous at the same time. It’s for a great cause, so we’re going to improve our dance skills while raising money for charity.”

Tara and Dan

Tara and Dan also work together at BWOC. They said: “There’s lots of mixed emotions, including excitement and terror. But, in general, we’re looking forward to taking part. At the end of the day, it’s for a great cause and so we’re going to give it our all.”

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