Karen Thorne, who runs the finance department at Uckfield-based C J Thorne civil engineers is dusting off her dancing shoes to take part in a Strictly Come Dancing style charity contest.
The accountant will compete on behalf of Chailey Heritage Foundation against nominees from other charities – Action Medical Research, Chestnut Tree House and The Starr Trust – which will all benefit from a share of funds raised at the Midsummer Ball at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.
Karen’s dance teacher and partner is Stuart Dawes, co-director and principal of The Brighton Academy of Performing Arts, who has recently finished a two-year run performing in Jersey Boys in London’s West End.
The theme for the ball is A Night of Nashville and guests can expect to sing along to all their Country favourites. Karen and Stuart will perform a specially choreographed routine to Dolly Parton’s 80s hit, Nine to Five.
Karen, mum of two grown-up children, is a lifelong dance enthusiast although she was in her teens the last time she performed in public. These days her passion for dance is mainly enjoyed on the sofa on a Saturday evening in front of Strictly Come Dancing.
She said: “The Chailey Heritage motto is ‘We will never, ever give up’ and even though I am apprehensive at the challenges ahead, I am intent on trying to follow that same principle as I train and rehearse with the wonderful Stuart Dawes for the big event on June 23.
“I will be working as hard as possible to raise as much money as I can for the inspirational Chailey Heritage Foundation.”
Chailey Heritage educates and supports children and young people with complex physical disabilities and health needs.
Funds raised for them will go towards their DREAM Centre Appeal to provide a modern and vibrant indoor activity space where children and young people with complex disabilities and health needs can take part in a mixture of arts and physical activities.
If you would like to support Karen and Stuart in their fund-raising there are different ways you can help, including making a donation via their online giving page.
Corporate groups and private guests are welcome to book a table or individual tickets to the ball which includes a three-course dinner with wine.
Businesses and organisations can also purchase advertising space in the event programme.
Full details of tickets and advertising space can be found here.
• The ball is being organised by the team at the Hilton, in partnership with the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People.