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Strictly Inverness dancer accelerates fundraising with NC500 spin in Reliant Robin

By Andrew Dixon

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Angela Urquhart in the Reliant Robin.
Angela Urquhart in the Reliant Robin.

If you're on the North Coast 500 this Easter you might catch a glimpse of Strictly Inverness superstar fundraiser Angela Urquhart.

The 37-year-old, from the Black Isle, has captured imaginations with her plan travel the popular route in a Reliant Robin on Good Friday.

She plans to cover the small three-wheeled vehicle in the names of businesses that have sponsored her – an initiative that has helped her generate more than £9000 in less than a month as part of the annual charity dance contest.

Angela is among some 30 people learning to dance while also fundraising for event organisers and hosts, Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre.

"My partner Ewan Stoddart and his friend bought the Reliant Robin in 2020 with the intention of doing the NC500 to raise funds for the Highland Hospice," she said. "Unfortunately, due to Covid they were unable to do this and the car sat in a shed for the next few years untouched.

"When I talked to Ewan about applying for Strictly, he suggested that I do the run that he had previously planned. I had no idea how much support I would get with this and I've just been blown away with it.

"I have to really credit Ewan for always being an amazing support to me and he's reached out to a lot of his business contacts to gain sponsors for the NC500 run setting off on March 29. Ewan's family have Stoddart Crane Hire and they are also my corporate sponsor.

"Stoddart Crane Hire is a family business with a great sense of community spirit and last year they supplied two cranes at Dores over the weekend to do a bungee jump and sling shot for the hospice. Ewan himself raised around £2000 in just over 24 hours and did the bungee as well!

"They have also supported previous Strictly Inverness contestants in their fundraising efforts. I am quite a competitive person and set myself a high fundraising target to raise valuable funds for the hospice and Inverness Ice Centre."

A principal housing officer with the homeless team at the Highland Council, Angela continued: "I've just always fancied doing Strictly.

"One of my best friends is a nurse at the hospice and I've had family and friends who have had loved ones who relied on the hospice in their final days. It's such an essential part of our community and deserves so much recognition and support.

"My cousin Carrie MacDonald, who works in fundraising for the hospice and is one of the Strictly organisers, was also a bit of an inspiration for my taking part. She competed in 2014 and I supported her journey. My auntie Liz, Carrie's mum, then participated as well."

Partnered with Ryan Bell, from Inverness, they are learning a foxtrot and a lyrical number, as well as a team dance with seven other couples who are performing on the Friday evening of the contest in May.

They have a few other ideas for fundraising events with a quiz night planned on March 16 at the ice centre.

"I definitely have the fundraising bug now and want to continue to raise money for the hospice after Strictly," Angela added.

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