I REALLY didn’t know what to expect when I first agreed to take part in Strictly Kershaw’s dance fundraising event – but now I’m so glad that I did it.
Last Friday night was an experience that left me breathless but buzzing and I’m so pleased now that I that stepped outside my comfort zone and took up the challenge.
Part of what made it such a memorable night was the incredible effort that had been put into making this a success by the Hospice’s organisers and volunteers.
The QE Hall looked simply fabulous – with all the glitz and glamour you could hope for – and, best of all, it was absolutely packed.
Having been drawn to go on and perform first I will admit to having had some initial butterflies, but these were quickly forgotten once the music began.
From that point on you have to focus incredibly hard to keep yourself co-ordinated and be in the right place at just the right time.
What helped everyone taking part was that the crowd were so enthusiastic and they whipped up an atmosphere that inspired us all.
Looking back it was, for me, quite a risky thing to agree to take part in this. Too few of us step out of our comfort zone like that very often and I really hadn’t enjoyed my previous brief flirtations with dancing.
Now, however, I certainly understand the great pleasure that dancing gives to so many people. It’s not just a great physical challenge but also helps you forget a bad day, to put things into perspective – and you also get to meet some simply fantastic people.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Dr Kershaw’s, Madd for Dance in Shaw, my dance partner Marco Maestro, and and all those who have helped me on this journey.
And we also mustn’t forget the incredible people who keep Dr Kershaw’s going all year round, plus all those who sponsored me (which you can still do!) here.
Moving onto other matters now and I was disappointed to see the latest version of the proposed Boundary Commission for England (BCE) changes that was published last week…
This is its third and final consultation on proposed new Parliamentary constituencies as part of a move to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
We made representations last year to the BCE on their initial proposals to create two Parliamentary constituencies within the borough boundaries.
There were clear flaws in those proposals which, in particular, ignored important long-standing local associations and identities.
This new version does at least no longer propose to split the two Royton wards into different constituencies – as was initially put forward – and also now keeps the Saddleworth wards together.
However, I do not view these plans as a good deal for Oldham because they are still breaking up the direct links with local authority boundaries, which is very important.
We will be putting our concerns forward again to the Boundary Commission and urging the public to do the same before the final December 11 deadline. You can do this by visiting the BCE website here.
I will be talking more about this in my blog next week, but for now please mark Thursday, November 2 (5pm onwards) in your diary for this fantastic free event.
You can also visit our webpage here to see everything we’ve got planned to make this a ‘Feast of Fire’ – and our biggest and best event yet.