Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Peace Hospice Care's 25th Anniversary Strictly Come Hospice Grand Finale sold out the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth on Sunday 13th March 2016.

Family, friends and patients of the Hospice came to cheer for and support the twenty seven dancers. The evening was full of love, laughter and lively dancing.

The judges crowned Jess Hall, 27 and Anthony Smith, 32, from Abbots Langley, the winners of the evening for their Argentina Tango. Jess said: "We were never in it to win it; we just wanted to have some fun and to give back to Peace Hospice Care for supporting me and my family over the last few years ... My dad was in the Hospice nearly 3 years ago now. It's just been amazing meeting all the other contestants and having fun."

The couple added: "Our wedding coming up in the summer so we thought we needed to learn how to dance properly. We've now got something in our dance bank for our first dance."

Some of the biggest cheers of the night came from the Hospice's Feel Good Friday Club. They were supporting Claire Herring, a rehabilitation assistant at Peace Hospice Care's Starlight Centre, who lives in Hemel Hempstead. Margaret Draper, who attends sessions at the Starlight Centre said: "Claire has helped me a lot. I'm so happy to have a break and to get out. By attending the Starlight Centre I have made some lovely friends which I never had before."

Over the last seven weeks the participants from across Hertfordshire, mastered the ardent Argentine Tango and the sultry Salsa. Some entered the show because Peace Hospice Care had looked after their family members or someone they knew, whereas others wanted to support a local charity whilst doing something fun. Barbra Grimshaw, from Uxbridge said: "I lost both my mum and dad at the Hospice; so I did it for my mum. She was my dancing queen."

The four judges on the evening were: dancers Niamh Creedon-Wilkes and Rachel Shaw, Paul Alex, dance tutor and owner of Paul Alex Dance Studios and Dan Dark, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden. Dan Dark said: "What's extraordinary is the amount of time and effort that everyone has put into this. It's an incredible charity; it's great that people are giving up their time. I'm a huge supporter of Peace Hospice Care; what they do is phenomenal. The Hospice has supported so many people in the area and this is one small way to give back. It's been great to do it with such fun and passion."

The evening raised £20k for Peace Hospice Care. The Hospice needs to raise over £5 million every year in order to run and develop its specialist services. All the care that the Hospice provides to its patients and their families is given free.

Throughout 2016 Peace Hospice Care will be celebrating its anniversary year. The Hospice is encouraging the local community to support them during their anniversary year. There are many ways for you to get involved! For more information please visit: www.peacehospicecare.org.uk/25years

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PeaceHospice and use the hashtag #PHC25years to join in the celebrations.