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Singer 'steps out of comfort zone' to boost lifeline Highland Hospice ahead of Ness Factor challenge


By Hector MacKenzie

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Joanne Ross. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Joanne Ross. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A HIGHLAND woman touched by the end of life care provided at Highland Hospice says she is "stepping out of my comfort zone" to boost the cause close to her heart.

Joanne Ross is competing in this year's Ness Factor to raise funds for the charity – by taking part in a fundraising battle of singers for a chance to perform at Belladrum 2024.

Joanne, from Dingwall, is already close to £3000 raised with a six-a-side football tournament in Maryburgh this Saturday the latest in her fundraising ventures.

She said: "I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone for the incredible Highland Hospice. For this challenge I will be working twice weekly with professional singing coaches to perfect my voice for the live final where I will sing in front of a panel of judges and an audience of over 350 guests."

One Dingwall local already bowled over by her talent is Tesco community champion Michelle Mackay who said: "Joanne sung a phenomenal version of Skinny Love by Birdy to get her through her audition. I was there and it was a tear jerker!

Joanne Ross with Tesco community champion Michelle Mackay.
Joanne Ross with Tesco community champion Michelle Mackay.

"Joanne has always loved singing and took this from her Granda, Dodo Ross, who was apart of local band The Melotones back in the day. But she had been struggling over the last couple of years. Upon check-ups, she had a benign lump on her vocal cord. "Going through this made her realise she wanted to sing and there was fears it may damage her vocal cords and she might not sing again. She came out of this better than ever with a voice so powerful!"

She said the hospice has always been close to her heart after seeing how it helping a close family friend.

Her fundraising has included visits to Tesco for a tombola and auctions for a caravan stay in Embo.

Joanne Ross is fundraising for Highland Hospice by taking part in the Ness Factor. A six-side football match this weekend is amongst her ventures to hit a high note with the charity.
Joanne Ross is fundraising for Highland Hospice by taking part in the Ness Factor. A six-side football match this weekend is amongst her ventures to hit a high note with the charity.

She has a football tournament on Saturday at Maryburgh football pitch from 11am with great help from local volunteers.

And she'll have a Ladies Day in the National Hotel, with a glass of prosecco on arrival and a buffet with live performances from 'Wee James' Macgillivray and a band which she has newly become a part of, The Pulse.

Also in the pipeline is a community mini market at Tesco.

Her fundraising page can be found at https://tinyurl.com/5xuejcb6


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