Comic Relief Danceathon…

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Comic Relief. It began in 1985 and has become a landmark in our calendars every March. In 2002 they were joined by BBC Sport and Sport Relief became a bi annual sister of the family that Richard Curtis began 30 years ago.

This being the 30th Comic Relief is quite exciting, maybe more for me because I also turned 30 this year! I grew up with Comic Relief and every year have made a donation. I am passionate about charity work, thoroughly enjoying getting involved in events throughout the year but Comic Relief (otherwise known as Red Nose Day) has a special place in my heart. That’s why I jumped at the chance to take part in a first, on Sunday 8th March, a group of us headed to Wembley and took part in a six hour Danceathon. Hosted by Claudia Winkleman with plenty of other celebrities who took part and mingled with the 2,000 strong crowds we Disco danced, raved and ballroomed our way through six hours! With twelve different dance styles being taught (including a half hour learning the thriller dance!) we certainly had enough to keep our feet busy!

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Our team was made up of myself, Tim, George and Laura with my husband acting as our tour manager/driver for the day! We left Cheltenham bright and early after dropping Scarlett off at Nannie and Grampa’s and finally got home around 9.30pm that evening for a takeaway and a hot bath! We had a brilliant day and at the end of this week, we’ll find out how much the event raised. Our team still has a quiz night to be held to add to our total but if every person there raised £100 each, we’re easily looking at a £200,000 total for the day! As it came under 48 hours after sleeping rough for the night (see my last blog post for details) it was certainly a bit more challenging than I thought it would be; and still today, two days later, I can feel the after affects on my muscles! The upside of that is that I get lots of massages from my husband and an excuse to have plenty of bubble baths (the candles and wine are a bonus but obviously necessary for the recovery!)

I remember watching Comic Relief with my parents when I was younger (see pictures below) and am very much looking forward to watching it with my daughter and husband in the future. This year she’s more interested in trying to eat the red nose instead of wearing it but it’s a start!

1995 - my Mum, Dad & brother in their noses!

1995 – my Mum, Dad & brother in their noses!

20 years later, Red Noses with my baby girl not much younger than my brother was.

20 years later, Red Noses with my baby girl not much younger than my brother was.

Anyway, back to Wembley! Looking around us as we were dancing there were people from all walks of life, older, younger, from every different sort of background and ability and every single one was getting their groove on! Some took breaks, some didn’t necessarily finish for whatever reason but everyone was there for the same purpose, to dance their absolute socks off to raise as much money for charity. People you wouldn’t ever normally socialise with became part of your grapevine, someone you wouldn’t choose to spend your day with gets involved in a group hug at the end because, although you may be different, you’ve achieved something kind of awesome together! And that’s what I love about charity, it’s all encompassing. People from all kinds of places working together for a common cause, and during these events you get to chat to people who you’d never normally come across. At the same time, you may not necessarily be able to change the world with one danceathon or a sponsored silence or a 10k run, but if you can make a tiny difference in one persons life, isn’t that worth it? It may seem like charity causes are never ending, but you only have to look around to see the differences that are made. Whether it be local facilities for families who can’t afford them, or increased life expectancies, or medical breakthroughs or more villages with schools and water. Yes, it’s an ocean and there are so many places and people that need help and support; yes, sometimes it can feel like efforts aren’t helping but if you look around, it won’t take you long to see the benefits that these donations make.

The five of us had a great day and the aching muscles were more than worth the amount of fun we had at the event. Particular highlights include Marcus Brigstocks rave dancing and Rufus Hound temporarily taking over when one of the instructors microphones malfunctioned, we danced to funk with a man in a chicken suit, and took part in the Thriller just behind some women dressed as adult babies! Richard Curtis mingled with us all as we danced and there was a really positive atmosphere throughout the 2,000+ people there. And during all that sweating and swaying, we all raised much needed funds for local and international projects, and that kind of day is definitely worth dancing about! Although…maybe not again for another few days yet..!

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