Northampton girl organises dance show with neighbours to raise money in dad's memory

Losing your father to a sudden heart attack would be a difficult thing to accept for any 13-year-old girl, but a generous teen from Northampton is putting her dancing feet to good use to raise money in his memory.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 7:13 pm
Tana Wakeford with her dad Adie Wakeford and mum Sam Hillier on holiday in Turkey in 2015

Tana Wakeford is supporting the British Heart Foundation with a small but very important dance show with the other children in her neighbourhood who she has taught all of the moves.

The Hunsbury Meadows family has been devastated since Adie Wakeford's unexpected death last year, but they are finding that doing things for charity is helping with their grief.

Tana's mum and Adie's former partner Sam Hillier said: "It's given us something to focus on over the last three months or so.

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Tana Wakeford with her dad Adie Wakeford and mum Sam Hillier on holiday in Turkey in 2015

"They've spent hours and hours and hours doing this and it's just nice that something positive is going to come out of it, having dedicating all that time.

"She's always liked prancing and dancing, I think it started off as just a few people and then it just grew.

"They've sent leaflet out to some of the houses in this close to tell them about it, and done another one reminding people about it.

"Obviously it's not going to be a huge thing, but it's just nice to put all that time and hopefully it will be successful, hopefully it won't rain!"

Tana Wakeford

Adie's death at the age of 51 to ischemic heart disease in September came as a shock to his family and the many people he knew through football, the Boys' Brigade and his job as a mobile 'Sandwich Man'.

Sam said around 400 people attended Adie's funeral, and they have all been very supportive ever since - a five-a-side tournament was organised in November to also raise money for charity in his name.

Tana's effort has followed on from that: "Because I go to dance I play with the little ones sometimes and they like doing dance as well, as they do dance too, and I just thought I would teach them a couple of dances.

"And then we decided to do a dance show and invite the parents and a couple of people from around here to come and watch."

Adie and Tana Wakeford on holiday in Rhodes in 2016

Tana and the other four children, aged from seven to 11, have been putting in a lot of practice to make sure Saturday's show is as good as possible.

The group, called Delicate Dancers, have even got matching outfits for each routine, most of which the Campion School pupil and her friends have made up themselves.

"There's a lot of different kinds of dances like street dance, some sassy dances because I like being sassy, and some slow dances as well, and it's kind of to a story so there's a story to each song," she said.

The family believe Tana's efforts are really helping her to come to terms with the loss of her dad, and are proud of everything she is doing.

Sam said: "There are a lot of people that know us that don't know about this, in fact she's only just invited her grandparents, it's really grown over the last few days.

"But Adie would have really appreciated this."

While the show is invite-only, Sam has asked that anyone who wishes to support Tana can do so by donating to the British Heart Foundation here.