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Strictly NHS: dancing competition raises thousands to thank healthcare staff

Nursing student among those who will take to the dance floor in honour of COVID-19 efforts
Strictly NHS charity ballroom dancing competition

Nursing student among participants take to the dance floor in honour of COVID-19 efforts

Strictly NHS, a charity ballroom dancing competition, has so far raised 8,000 to say thank you to NHS staff for their work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competition is raising money for Blue Skies Hospitals Fund , a charity dedicated to enhancing care for patients at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Funds will go to improving the health and welfare of patients, carers, visitors and staff as well as research and equipment.

More than 2,000 people entered the dancing competition

Funds raised through sponsorship deals, donations and its JustGiving page have so far reached 8,000 of the 10,000 target.

Members of the public and NHS staff were able to

Nursing student among participants take to the dance floor in honour of COVID-19 efforts

Strictly NHS, a charity ballroom dancing competition, has so far raised £8,000 to say thank you to NHS staff for their work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competition is raising money for Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, a charity dedicated to enhancing care for patients at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Funds will go to improving the health and welfare of patients, carers, visitors and staff as well as research and equipment.

More than 2,000 people entered the dancing competition

Funds raised through sponsorship deals, donations and its JustGiving page have so far reached £8,000 of the £10,000 target.

Members of the public and NHS staff were able to apply to take part in the Strictly NHS dance event, which is inspired by the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing competition and gives non-celebrities the chance to train with professional dancers.

In July, more than 2,000 people submitted an application, with numbers now whittled down to 100.


Nursing student Francesca Hufton
is on the Strictly NHS shortlist

Shortlist includes mental health nrusing student

Nursing Standard contributor Francesca Hufton is one of the chosen.

The second-year mental health nursing student at Canterbury Christ Church University, who is also a dance teacher, said it felt ‘amazing’ to be in the running. ‘When I read the email, I was in shock,’ she said.

The final 12 contestants will be announced on 1 December, and the dance competition will be hosted at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on 26 February 2021.

Finalists will be paired with professional dancers to showcase their ballroom and Latin dance skills, honed during six weeks of training.  

The winner will walk away with a glitterball trophy.

Competition organiser wants to 'give back' to the NHS

Strictly NHS is the brainchild of Alison Slinger, director of Blackpool-based dance company The Crown Ballroom.

She told Nursing Standard she was inspired to organise the charity event because of the hard work of NHS staff during the pandemic.

‘They really put themselves out there, put themselves at risk, with probably very little thanks in a lot of cases,’ she said.

Ms Slinger said as a dance teacher she did not know how else to ‘give back’ to the NHS, so she and her team decided to ‘dance our way through it’.


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