Strictly stars shine bright for hospice

Nine supporters of St. Joseph’s Hospice in Thornton performed live at its Strictly St. Joseph’s event last month which has raised around £10,000 for the charity.

The annual event, now in its 2nd year, took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Liverpool and was supported by Marshside School of Dance in Southport which provided the professional dance partners and training sessions for all nine participants.

During the evening, Clare Whitehead performed a fabulous Jive to Candy Man with her dancer partner Olivia. Christine Makin danced a wonderful Waltz to It Is You with her dance partner Lisa. Jennifer Swain performed a stunning Salsa to Conga with her partner Emma.

Becca Cordey and her dance partner Tash danced a cheerful Cha Cha Cha to Prince’s iconic hit Kiss. Donna Murphy performed a dazzling Samba to Hot Hot Hot with her partner Megan.

Sarah Gadzina danced a cheeky Charleston to Yes Sir! That’s My Baby with professional dancer and owner of Marshside School of Dance, Kaz Leach; and Aaron Pearson performed a tremendous Argentine Tango to Edge of Seventeen with his partner Lucy.

The Audience Award, chosen by the audience on the night, was presented to Elizabeth Brown Blackburn and her professional dance partner Eleanor who performed a funky Street Latin dance to September.

Then, the title of Strictly St. Joseph’s Champions 2022 was awarded by the judges to Joseph McEvoy and his professional partner Grace who rock and rolled the roof off to Jailhouse Rock.

During the evening, guests enjoyed a four-course meal and entertainment from singer Scott Chapman on top of the Live Strictly dance show and a disco at the end of the night.

Four judges kindly gave up their time to support the hospice on the night, including professional dance teacher, David Beckham Doyle; professional Latin dancer, Wendy Greenwood; Olympian, Rebecca Romero MBE; and theatre manager, Sarah Massey.

All nine contestants have raised thousands of pounds for the Thornton-based charity by raising their own sponsorship.

Maxine Armstrong, head of fundraising and lottery at St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “Our second Strictly St. Joseph’s event was another fantastic success. All nine dancers were absolutely fabulous. They really put their heart and soul in to learning their routines and their energy and performances on the night were just brilliant. To top it all off they have all raised an incredible amount of money for the hospice.

“We’d also like to thank everyone who bought a ticket for the event for showing such generosity and support to the hospice on the evening. We also raised lots of money from our auction and our raffle as well as from the audience voting on the night.

“A huge thank you to Marshside School of Dance for helping us for a second year running to make this event such a great success as well as to our judges for giving up their time to support the hospice.

“All the money we raised from Strictly St. Joseph’s will fund compassionate end of life hospice care for people from our communities across Merseyside and West Lancashire as well as support for their families during a very tough time.”

View all the photos and videos from Strictly St. Joseph’s 2022