Strictly dancers put best foot forward for St Francis charity night

Celebrity dancers impressed guests at the fourth St Francis Hospice Forget me not Ball with their talents and helped raise a record �30,500 for the cha cha charity. Strictly Come Dancing stars James and Ola Jordan performed four dazzling routines – samba, rumba, paso doble and the cha cha cha.

Following their performance James said: “We were pleased to support the hospice as we are massive charity supporters. It seemed like a brilliant evening and walking around talking to guests I saw how they had been touched by the speeches and the charity’s work.”

Actress and supporter Cathy Murphy, actor Marc Bannerman and the Mayor of Havering Cllr Melvin Wallace were amongst the 300 guests at the glittering occasion at Orsett Hall, Thurrock, last Saturday (September 17).

Guests were also treated to a delicious three course meal, disco, performance by singer Josh Dubovie and could try their luck at rolling seven sixes on dice to win a Mini.

There was also an auction, which saw guests bidding for lots including two VIP Rihanna tickets, a chance to see The One Show being filmed and meet the presenters.

A staggering �2,800 was raised for two private dance lessons for two, kindly donated by James and Ola.

Cathy Murphy, aka Julie Perkins from EastEnders, whose mum Catherine was cared for by St Francis 13 years ago, said: “It was a really moving, but warm and wonderful evening.”

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Nettie Keene and her son Danny, from Clayhall, shared their hospice experience with guests after Saul, Danny’s brother, received care before he died from a brain tumour in 2008.

Danny said: “When Saul came to the hospice after a seizure and stay in hospital he was still active, but unable to speak and communicate properly, which was frustrating for him. The hospice staff were very patient with Saul and didn’t try to hurry him when trying to speak and also let him do as much as he could on his own, which mum and I thought was very caring and understanding.”

To support the hospice please visit email or call 01708 753319.