A group of innovative and brave volunteers from South Tipperary have come to the support of the Barretstown camp in Co. Kildare by organising a version of Strictly Come Dancing at Hotel Minella on Friday, 21st October. Ten strictly amateurs and ten expert dancers have come together to represent community groups, sports clubs and other organisations around the county to dance off against each other in front of an audience of spectators, supporters and expert judges. They will dance everything from a waltz and a foxtrot to a cha cha cha and a jive. Tickets are available from The Heritage in Cahir and Better By Nature Health Food Shop in Market Place, Clonmel.
The volunteer amateur dancers have been practising constantly and chiropodists in the area are said to be making a fortune from their recent visits. The expert dancers have very kindly given up their valuable time at the risk of damaging their own toes. The level of experience from the amateurs ranged from the flat-footed to those who have made a hobby a passion.
In the coming weeks more information will be revealed about the people who are living the dream and willing to put themselves up for ridicule or acclaim from friends, families and supporters. The dancing competition will be followed by a performance by popular local band, The Pearly Whites.
Barretstown rebuilds the lives of children and their families who are affected by childhood cancer. The children, from 7 to 17, come from Ireland and across Europe to take part in activities such as canoeing, high ropes, drama and arts and crafts. Through their achievements they regain confidence and self-esteem and their own inner strength. Barretstown provides a unique Therapeutic Recreation programme through a fun, activity-based process of challenge, success, reflection and discovery – backed by the medical world - that helps children affected by serious illness to regain their confidence and self-esteem, and which has become internationally recognised as having a profound and positive impact on their lives.
After taking part in one of the programmes children go home with more confidence, self-esteem and, more importantly, the reassurance that happiness is not just for healthy children.
Each year it costs almost €5 million to run the programmes at Barretstown. Children and families don’t pay a cent to go there. All their travel costs, accommodation, food, medical care and activities are provided free of charge.