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Duo are cleaning up for Strictly Inverness dance contest

By Ian Duncan

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Strictly Inverness 2023 contestants Andrea Manson and Gordie Simpson. Picture: James Mackenzie
Strictly Inverness 2023 contestants Andrea Manson and Gordie Simpson. Picture: James Mackenzie

A fundraising car wash raised £800 for Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre.

It was held in Beauly at the weekend and was organised by Andrea Manson and Gordie Simpson who are taking part in the Strictly Inverness 2023 dance competition.

They will be organising a number of other fundraising events over the coming weeks and the final total will be split between the two causes.

Andrea, who is from Dingwall and is a mobile hairdresser, said she was taking part to help raise as much money as they can for the two causes which are close to the hearts of many.

She added: “I’m a complete novice. I love dancing but this is a bit different to having a wee boogie on a Saturday night.”

Andrea said she thought they were starting to improve and added: “We’re looking forward to learning all our dances. We have two dances and a Team Thursday dance to learn.

“It’s such an amazing experience and opportunity, but it’s hard work, we get one hour a week for each dance.

“We have the amazing and very talented dance teachers Tina and Laura. We also have the amazing mentors Gillian and Luke from Strictly 2022.”

Team Thursday group. Picture: Callum Mackay
Team Thursday group. Picture: Callum Mackay

So far she has done a 10k run, bucket collections and she said: “Black Isle Pods and Chalets kindly donated a night in a pod with a hot tub to raffle which made an amazing amount of £1000.

“Peat & Diesel and Ru Mac and Keith kindly met up and did a video for social media to wish us well on our Strictly journey and show their incredible support for the Highland Hospice – sadly Gordie was unable to attend.”

So far she has raised around a total of £3000 and she said she wanted to thank all those who had donated and supported them so far.

Team Friday group. Picture: Callum Mackay
Team Friday group. Picture: Callum Mackay

She said: "Highland Sauna kindly donated the hire of their mobile sauna for which i have a competition running at the moment which can be entered on my Facebook page.

"Our JustGiving pages are on our Facebook page – we all have one – there's a link to make a donation or to make payment for raffles etc with all payments going straight to the Highland Hospice with each couple's total adding up together before the competition in May.

"We also have a payment card that can be scanned with your phone that takes you straight to our JustGiving page to make any donations.

"I am proud to be sponsored by my son and my daughter – Mikey Manson and Nicole Manson."

• To find out more visit Just Giving.

Andrea Manson and Gordon Simpson. Picture: Callum Mackay
Andrea Manson and Gordon Simpson. Picture: Callum Mackay

Gordie, who is a construction company director from Beauly, said he was doing the competition because he wanted a new challenge and to raise money for two good causes and he was looking for a new challenge.

He added: “Yes I enjoy dancing as I learn it becomes much more fun and enjoyable giving a bigger reward. I was a complete novice prior to starting.

“The training is challenging but good. Laura and Tina are my dance teachers, they are both great fun along with being great teachers.

“We have just had a charity car wash which went amazing with a great turnout raising £800. Thank you to those who attended to show their continued support and those who put their hand in their pocket.”

On February 25 they have a fundraising extravaganza at the Botanic House with Tich McCooey. Gordie said: “I have raised around £1000 so far but I am about to step up my game.”

He said he thought the hospice does “amazing work which we all may need one day”. He added: “They make families and individuals comfortable and happy when they need it most.”

• To find out more visit Just Giving.

The event will take place from May 10 until May 13 and it will be held at Inverness Ice Centre on all four nights of the event.

A hospice spokeswoman: "Both Gordie and Andrea's fundraising has got off to a flying start! They have several events, prize draws and raffles organised between them and this one will is sure to be a big hit. We hope everyone in need of a car wash after all this wintry weather will come along on Saturday to support their efforts!"

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