Strictly Northampton to support town’s hospice

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Northampton’s fourth annual charity dance contest will this year support fund-raising by Cynthia Spencer Hospice, it has been announced.

Strictly Northampton 2013, organised by the Chronicle & Echo, BBC Radio Northampton and Step By Step Dance School, will take place at the Royal & Derngate theatre on Saturday, November 23 and will raise funds for the hospice in Kettering Road.

The event will see well-known Northampton personalities paired with professional dancers as they compete for the winner’s trophy, while raising funds for charity.

Fund-raising manager at Cynthia Spencer, John Helm, said: “We are delighted Strictly Northampton has chosen the hospice to be the beneficiary charity for the event.

“The money raised will make a massive difference to the way that people in our local community receive their treatment at the hospice.”

For the last three years the contest was held in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support and raised funds for the new haemotology unit at Northampton General Hospital, which is now open.

Each year it has raised up to £30,000 for charity and competitiors have included leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, ITV Daybreak weather presenter Laura Tobin, actress and singer Isla St Clair, and head coach at Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club, John Daly, who won the 2012 contest.

Mr Helm said: “There’s a big buzz going around the hospice about Strictly Northampton. Staff are wondering whether they will get the chance to take part. They are desperate to have a go themselves really.

“There’s a massive buzz of expectation. It’s something fun and light-hearted.”

He added: “We haven’t told the patients yet but I am sure they will be delighted the local newspaper is supporting us in this way.”

This year also sees the 10th anniversary for the hospice’s Cycle for Cynthia charity event at Althorp House.

Mr Helm said: “That is one of our biggest events this year now, along with Strictly Northampton.”

Cynthia Spencer’s next event will be its annual firewalk and the hospice is also planning for a fund-raising trek through Morrocco in the spring of 2014.

Editor of the Chron, David Summers, said: “Cynthia Spencer Hospice does fantastic work and we were delighted to support them.

“It promises to be another fantastic event at Royal & Derngate.”

Pedal power helped raise a record £55,000 at last year’s Cycle for Cynthia charity ride.

The impressive figure was revealed at an awards ceremony at Franklin’s Gardens last Thursday night.

The ceremony also launched this year’s 10th anniversary event, which takes place in the grounds of Althorp on September 22, and raises money for the hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Organisers are hoping to top 2,000 participants at this year’s ride, which will take place in the grounds of Althorp on September 22.
DJ Jo Whiley and her family have signed up, as has Saints boss Jim Mallinder, who is aiming to get some of his players involved.