Redbourn widow hits the dancefloor to raise money for hospice

Pauline King and Ken Hart from Redbourn will be dancing to raise money for the Hospice of St Francis

Pauline King and Ken Hart from Redbourn will be dancing to raise money for the Hospice of St Francis. Picture: The Hospice of St Francis - Credit: Archant

A Redbourn widow is taking part in a charity dance competition to fulfil a promise to her late husband.

Pauline King, 74, from Holtsmere End Lane, will join nine couples in the Strictly Learn Dancing Challenge, which has been organised by The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.

Participants will undertake six weeks of dance tuition, learning how to jive and waltx from professional teachers Brian and Shirley, of Baila-Cusworth Dance School.

Pauline’s husband David spent the last three weeks of his life at the hospice, before he died in September at the age of 79.

Pauline said: “David and I had promised we’d treat each other to dance classes as a Christmas present, but sadly his lung cancer progressed and he was just too tired to manage it, so I desperately wanted to do this in his memory.

“It’s hard to put into words how wonderful the care was. Nothing was too much trouble, everyone from the doctors to the volunteers was jolly and happy, which made him happy as well.”

Pauline plays with a ukelele band called The Ol’ Packers, and her fellow band member Ken Hart volunteered to be her dance partner.

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She said: “We’re loving the dancing and David would have loved that I’m doing it. We’ve done nothing like it before so it’s quite hard putting all the sections and steps together, but we have such a laugh.

“My 10-year-old twin granddaughters keep saying ‘You have to win Grandma!’ so no pressure! I keep having to remind them it’s the taking part that counts.”

Pauline’s local pub, The Cricketers in Redbourn, has agreed to host a quiz night for the hospice, and she has also set up a JustGiving page and sold 22 tickets to the event.

She said: “I had no idea the hospice relies so heavily on voluntary donations to provide its free care and so this is my way of giving something back.”

The Strictly Learn Dancing Grand Finale will be held at Centenary Hall in Berkhamsted on Saturday in front of family and friends, and one couple will be crowned the 2019 champions.

To book a ticket for £15 call 01442 869555.

To help Pauline reach her £300 fundraising target, go to