Published: 17/08/2012 02:00 - Updated: 16/08/2012 17:49

School cheer for end-to-end dancer

Ben gets an impromptu Highland dancing lesson from pupil Beth Allan during his visit to Wick South School on Wednesday morning. Also in the picture is Hope Allan.
Ben gets an impromptu Highland dancing lesson from pupil Beth Allan during his visit to Wick South School on Wednesday morning. Also in the picture is Hope Allan.

JOHN O’Groats is accustomed to waving off adventurous fundraisers by foot or vehicle but rarely does it witness the start of someone shimmying the length of mainland Britain.

Ben Hammond is attempting to do exactly that as he aims to get to Land’s End by dancing the whole way from Caithness.

His unique mission has been labelled Dance Britain for Burma as he aims to raise at least £200,000 for a number of charities to help refugees in the war-torn country.

Having started his trek on Monday, he stopped in at South Primary School in Wick to meet pupils and teachers to speak about why he is taking part in the fundraiser as well as learn some dance moves from the kids.

Mr Hammond (34), from London, said that he has been very pleased with the support he has received in Caithness, saying it was a great way to start off his trek.

"As well as dancing from the north of Scotland to the south-west of England, he is hoping that he can encourage others to dance with him on the way.

"I’m just an ordinary person who loves to dance but can’t do it very well," he said.

"I’m hoping the Great British public will embrace its eccentric, extraordinary side and be up for dancing free with me for part of this adventure."

As director of educational charity LearnBurma, Mr Hammond’s mission is to use dance as a symbol of the freedoms which exist in the UK but have been denied in Burma.

It is a country he has experienced first-hand as a refugee camp teacher in 2004 when he met hundreds of people who were forced to flee their homes due to war.

He said that now is the best chance the country has had in a lifetime to make a real and lasting change.

"When I was at the refugee camps, they were very crowded places with no electricity or running water with thousands of people forced to live in cramped dormitories. Young children were forced to take on the responsibilities of those of adults which included building houses.

"But through this campaign I hope to raise enough money to make a difference and to make the British public more aware of what is happening in Burma."

Performing his self-labelled, dad-dancing style throughout his 60-day trek, Mr Hammond will be instantly recognisable through wearing a fluorescent tutu and carrying a placard asking people to dance with him. He hopes to dance with 50,000 people along the way.

For more information about the fund raising challenge or to make a donation, visit www.dancebritain.com

< Back
Reddit Facebook Digg Del.icio.us Twitter Bebo