A Portadown health service employee is honing her dance moves - and facing her fears - as she takes part in a Strictly dance event for Marie Curie.
Jacqueline Haynes, who works in administration in Health and Social Service Lurgan, is one of a group of employees from across the trust taking part in the ‘Southern Trust Does Strictly 2016’.
The mum of two grown up daughters, who is a huge fan of the Strictly TV show, signed up for the event in a personal challenge.
She explained, “I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to be in the limelight and the thought of being on the dance floor, with nowhere to hide, scares the life out of me, but it is making me face my fears.”
Jacqueline has also had to overcome her dislike of asking people for favours, including sponsorship, in her bid to meet her personal fundraising target of £5,000.
She said, “I went round every business in Rushmere Shopping Centre asking for sponsorship, and I have learnt that if someone said ‘no’ it wasn’t a rejection of me.”
Jacqueline has been fundraising in earnest since February, holding a very well supported coffee morning and raffle in her work place.
Her next event is a Charity Night of Music and Dance in Battlehill Social Club, Portadown, on Friday, September 16.
There will be four local heats across the Trust area, with the first in the Armagh City Hotel on Friday, October 7. It is hoped there will be 12 couples in each of the four heats.
The top three couples from each heat will go through to the final on Friday, November 11 at Armagh City Hotel.
And Jacqueline is determined to make it into the final, having told her daughters, who live in Paris and England, to book their flights home for the big night!
The event is being managed by a professional production company, Take 2 Productions, in conjunction with the Southern Trust’s charity committee.
Jacqueline won’t begin her dance training until the end of this month, but is looking forward to it, having “dabbled a little” in the past with ballroom and ceroc (a mixture of jive, salsa and mambo).
She added, “My current total amount raised to date is £3,409.71 but my target is £5,000 which equates to 250 hours of Marie Curie care free to a patient with a terminal illness.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from numerous health service staff, family members, friends and businesses, whose ability to give, just never seems to end.
“The success of my fundraising would not have been achieved without the generosity and support of each and every one of them.”