We were proud to see 18 brave participants wow an excited audience on Saturday at the 2023 Strictly Best Foot Forward (Strictly BFF) dance competition.

A total of £40,000 was raised for Bury Hospice, as the performers took to the dancefloor at Swinton Masonic Hall to showcase their dancing abilities.

The annual competition, which is in its sixth year, was organised by dancer, hospice trustee, volunteer and fundraiser, Deborah Lisle, who was supported by a strong team who helped to coordinate the contest.

Strictly BFF is one of the biggest fundraising events in the hospice calendar, drawing voluntary input from many individuals and organisations across Bury.

Dance partners Kirsty Allen and Mark Gregory were the overall winners.

Mark said: “I have absolutely loved every minute of it. It has been very challenging learning the routines, let alone one that could win.

"I made some amazing friends along the way too, who have been so supportive of me and everyone else involved.”

Kirsty said: “The whole group of contestants were just a joy to be around and we were all absolutely buzzing to get on the floor not just for our speciality dances, but to share the floor together.

“The audience reaction was amazing and this just helped ease any nerves and fill us with confidence.”

Both Mark and Kirsty were pleased to be announced winners and would recommend others to sign up, stating making new friends, unlocking new skills and raising money for the hospice as being “one of the best decisions you can make,” and something that “you will not regret".

We thank Deborah, the Strictly team, and all of the dancers for their long-term commitment to raising funds that will support patients and their families as they navigate the end-of-life process.

A lot of hard work went into making both the afternoon tea and the evening grand finale total successes, and we are grateful for the impassioned commitment everyone showed in highlighting the Bury Hospice cause, locally and beyond.

To find out more about fundraising for the hospice, head to https://www.buryhospice.org.uk/raise-money-for-us.

If you’d like to register your interest for Strictly Best Foot Forward 2024, contact fundraising@buryhospice.org.uk.