In only 6 weeks we welcome our new Strictly Come Prancing event!
Twelve couples are already in training, hoping to win the coveted glitterball trophy but who are the four people entrusted with their fate??? It's time to meet the judges...
1) Meet our Head Judge, Gok Wan. Gok Wan is an award-winning TV presenter and fashion expert. His name is now synonymous with offering straightforward fashion advice to women to boost their appearance and confidence, no matter their age or shape. Gok’s engaging approach, combined with his personal charm, has enabled him to build a reputation as one of the UK’s best known TV presenters. But the question on everyone's lips is... Will he like our dance couple's performances?
2) Meet our judge who loves all things fabulous - it's Mr Fabulous himself!!
This is not his first time judging, having been involved in lots of charity events before. He has many projects on the go at all times as well as being a radio presenter on Scene Radio and a regular TV presence on STV. He is involved with lots of different causes and is proud to have fostered over 50 children! He and his husband were even one of the first same-sex couples to adopt a child back in 2009!
When we asked what kind of judge he plans on being, his response was,
“Mr Fabulous is ALWAYS fabulous, so I’m going to be the nice, bubbly judge!”
3) Meet singing sensation, Carol Laula! Carol says she has two left feet so is much happier being a judge than a dancer! However she knows about a good performance being a well known singer/songwriter. Her song 'Standing Proud' was even picked as the anthem for Glasgow's year as European City of Culture in 1990!
Carol’s worked with many Scottish artists, including Stuart Nisbett (The Proclaimers) and has released 8 albums!
When she judges the dancers, she says she will be looking for three things.
“Enjoyment, enthusiasm and timing”.
Let’s hope our dancers meet her checklist!
4) Last but by no means least - Meet April Stuart Macrae, who owns and teaches at April's Street Feet. She has lots of experience dancing having competed in competitions herself and guiding her own dancers to victory on many occasions!
She admits that, while she is usually quite strict on her own kids, she is aware that not everyone competing in November has dance experience, and while it would be good to see some technique,
“If they give a good performance and look like they know what they’re doing then good on them!”
Look out for all our Strictly updates on our Twitter and follow #SCPrancing
Tickets are going fast! Buy your today online.
A host of inspiring dancers, including some famous Scottish faces, are getting ready to do their bit for cha-cha-charity by taking part in Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland)’s first ever Strictly Come Prancing event.
Saturday night fever is set to sweep through Glasgow’s Double Tree Hilton Hotel on 10 November, when 13 couples – including Heart Scotland radio presenters Paul Harper and Lynne Hoggan, as well as reality star Brian Matthews, formerly of GLOW – take to the dancefloor to try to impress head judge TV fashionista Gok Wan. The ‘How To Look Good Naked’ star will be joined on the judging panel by singing sensation Carol Laula, radio presenter James Smith and dancing instructor April Stuart Macrae.
To make sure they know their mambos from their rhumbas, the couples will prepare for their big night with 10 weeks of professional coaching at April’s Street Feet’s dancing studio.
Taking its lead from the hit BBC show, SBH Scotland’s Strictly Come Prancing distinguishes itself from similar events by opening up the contest to same sex couples. Encouraging inclusivity, the inaugural event will see three couples of the same sex competing for the coveted Glitterball Trophy.
All proceeds from the night will go to SBH Scotland and our services to support children, young people and families affected by lifelong disabilities spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
Strictly Come Prancing competitor, and Heart radio host, Lynne Hoggan said; “I am really looking forward to taking part in this event, I guess every girl wants to dance like Baby from Dirty Dancing at some point in their life. Plus, it's a great new way to keep me in shape and I can't wait to get all glammed up for the big night.”
Richard Donald, events manager at SBH Scotland, said: “Strictly Come Prancing is not just about raising money for the charity, it’s about flying the flag for diversity and equality, as well as having a bit of fun.
“We’ve got a great line up, and it’s shaping up to be an incredible night. All 26 dancers have committed to putting themselves through 10 weeks of training to get in the best shape possible for the big night and they are all desperate to show off their moves to Gok, and the other judges.
“We look forward to seeing them take to the stage in November, and hope to see as many people in the crowd as possible.”
Tickets for the event are now on sale online at a cost of £65 per person, or £600 for a table of 10.
A Tullibody mum has followed in her daughter’s tracks when she tackled her first triathlon to raise funds for SBH Scotland.
Kirstie Dawson (45) took on the Stirling Super Sprint on June 3, a gruelling test of endurance that requires competitors to swim 400m, cycle 17km and then run for 3km whick she completed in an incredible 67 minutes and earning a new personal best in the 17km cycle.
Kirstie, who raised over £1000 for the charity, revealed her motivation for taking on the challenge comes from daughter, Meggan. The 25-year-old was born with spina bifida, a fault in the spinal column where vertebrae do not form completely, and has hydrocephalus - a condition where increased pressure on the brain can cause social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties - but that hasn’t deterred her from fulfilling her sporting ambitions.
The wheelchair racer, who competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at one point held Scottish national records over eight separate distances, had been in training for this year’s London Marathon when she picked up pressure sores and is now taking time out to recover before taking on her next challenge. Mum Kirstie stepped in to ensure her daughter’s fundraising intentions wouldn’t be in vain.
She said: “Meggan was upset when she realised she wouldn’t be able to take part in the marathon as she had hoped to raise funds for SBH Scotland so I decided to take up the mantle. My friends persuaded me to sign up for my first triathlon so I’ve been hard in training for that. Meggan has been laughing at me looking totally exhausted as it’s usually the other way around!”
Training for the triathlon has made Kirstie even prouder of Meggan who, she reveals, has undergone more than ten operations to insert shunts which reduce swelling on the brain, and repeat bowel surgery without ever complaining.
Kirstie added: “I’m really proud of her. I’ve never met anyone so resilient and upbeat despite everything she’s been through. She jokes about the fact the operation scars on her tummy are in the shape of a giraffe!"
“She’s a true inspiration and always looking to help others. She recently had all her hair chopped off so she could donate it to a charity that helps children who have lost their hair because of leukemia and that’s just typical of her.”
SBH Scotland are in the process of creating a children’s book about Meggan to inspire other children with disabilities to never give up and not be afraid to try new things.
Her mum added: “The hardest thing for Meggan when she was growing up was that there weren’t many other kids with disabilities in our area."
“Then she was a teenager she went to a sports camp and got to meet kids like her who didn’t want their condition to define them. Hopefully this book will let other children with spina bifida or hydrocephalus realise they are not alone and that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”
"The services and support that SBHS have given us as a family is invaluable, i am in no doubt Meggan would not be the young, confidant young lady she is today without their drive to encourage and enable her to become the best version of herself"
Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said: “Meggan’s story is truly inspirational and it’s great to see mum Kirstie getting involved now, too, in her own athletic endeavours. We wish her all the best for her triathlon."
“As a charity, we rely solely on the efforts of our supporters and because of people like Meggan and Kirstie we are able to offer a range of services from weekly support groups to tailored activities for children and young people and advice for families affected by the conditions."
You can help contribute to Kirstie's fundraising efforts.
For more information on services offered by SBH Scotland please contact us
Blair Drummond Safari Park quietly opened its gates after hours on Friday 1st June for an exclusive event, and Spinal Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) was delighted to be involved.
‘Dreamnight at the Zoo’ is a special event that is held globally and hosted by over 300 zoos, safari parks and aquariums across 35 countries.
Dreamnight allows children and families who are living with life-long illnesses or disabilities to enjoy a memorable evening together. Blair Drummond Safari Park hosted its first Dreamnight in 2009.
This year the special evening took place between 6:00pm and 9:00pm on Friday 1st June and 1000 tickets were given to invited children and their families for a VIP experience with entertainment, refreshments and an early evening tour of the Safari Park. The families attended free of charge and their invites were allocated through charity partners. We were delighted to be given 75 briefs to pass to SBH Scotland families.
It was a very successful evening which allowed our families to have an enjoyable and unique experience with each other in a relaxing environment with other families. SBH Scotland was delighted to have been able to be a part of the event and grateful to have been invited.
Gary Gilmour Park Manager at Blair Drummond Safari Park comments: “Many of the families invited through our charity partners face challenges on a daily basis, and we’re very happy that we are able to host them for this memorable evening. Our event took place with the help of Safari Park staff, volunteers, suppliers, and supporters such as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland - we’re grateful for their commitment to make it happen.”
Event organiser and Head of Education at Blair Drummond Safari Park Katie Macfarlane said: “I’m delighted to have helped create this memorable experience for our guests- it was a very special event to organise and be part of. The families who attended all seemed to have a fantastic night. Thanks to all those who attended and volunteered on the night – we couldn’t do it without them.”
If you are affected by Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus and would like more information on what we do, please contact us.
Climbing any mountain can have its hairy moments, but members of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains have returned triumphant from tackling Ben Nevis in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland).
The group of 13 walkers, raised more than £4,000 by scaling Scotland’s highest peak and the only close shaves they encountered were midgie bites and blisters!
Leading the charge was Kris Day (35), from Cardonald, who was inspired to organise the climb, as his daughter Rose (8) has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
He said; “We have a very big family network who help out a lot with her care, but we know the charity is always there for us if we need it.
“Having a child with a disability can be tough, and I know not everyone is as lucky as Rose. The charity gives amazing support to other families so we wanted to raise as much for them as we could.”
Kris has been a member of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains – a brotherhood of bearded men dedicated to the betterment of mankind throughout charity and kindness - for almost a year, after managing to grow his beard past the required four centimetre mark.
He continued; “The Bearded Villains is a fraternity of bearded men from all over the world dedicated to the four pillars of loyalty, respect, charity and family.
“When deciding on fundraising pursuits, it’s usually for a cause which one of our members has a personal connection to, so I am delighted that we were able to do something for SBH Scotland. Standing at the summit, knowing the charity was benefiting from our efforts was an incredible feeling.
“We’re also committed to doing things for our local communities – like clearing paths in bad weather for people who can’t do it for themselves – we all have an obligation to look after each other.”
Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said; “The team climbed upwards of 1,345m to reach the summit, and we could not be more grateful for their efforts.
“Without the dedication of our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to deliver vital services to those affected by the lifelong and complex conditions of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
“The Bearded Villains, are heroes in our eyes."
To donate to the Bearded Villains’ Ben Nevis climb, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bearded-villains-scotland