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Councillor set for 10-hour danceathon to raise money for children with disabilities

08 Jun 2023 4 minute read
Cllr Chris Reeks and his wife Jane get in some practice ahead of their charity danceathon in July

Emily Price

A Welsh councillor and his wife plan to raise money for children with disabilities by dancing for ten hours straight.

Newport City Councillor, Chris Reeks will take part in a danceathon consisting of a mix of ten different types of dance styles including jive, waltz, quickstep and salsa to raise money for Sparkle Appeal which supports children with disabilities across Gwent.

Cllr Reeks said he and his wife Jane have always loved dancing but up until last year it was “nothing more than just dad-dancing” until the couple took up weekly lessons at Shappelles Dance School in Ystrad Mynach.

The Conservative councillor for the Rogerstone North ward said: “The dancing provided us with the opportunity to meet new people, to exercise and most importantly to have fun together.

“It was this sense of having fun together that sparked the idea to combine it with a fundraising event for charity – do something you enjoy while raising money at the same time.”

The money raised for Sparkle Appeal will help fund Serennu Children’s Centre which is based in Cllr Reeks’ ward in Rogerstone.


Sparkle ensures that children with disabilities and their families are fully supported and have access to the same range of opportunities, life experiences and community services as any other child and their family.

500 children visit the Serennu Children’s Centre every week for medical and holistic treatments, support and care.

The centre relies on donations to help fund the facilities which enable young people with disabilities to experience daily activities similar to their able-bodied peers such as swimming, soft-play and watching movies at a specially adapted cinema screen.

Cllr Reeks and his wife will start their fundraising danceathon at 10am on July 1 with support from friends and special guests in the hopes of growing the exposure of the Sparkle Appeal charity and the work it does.

He said: “We’ve been having lessons once a week for just over a year locally and have found it to be a great way of meeting people, having a lot of fun and getting a little exercise in along the way.

“To combine this with the opportunity to raise money for a great charity that provides a vital lifeline to the children of Newport and Gwent seemed a natural thing to do”.

Cllr Reeks’ Just Giving fund raising page has so far raised almost £300 of the dancing duo’s target of £1000.


Both the Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones and the Shadow Minister for for Transport and Technology Natasha Asghar have donated to cause.

Natasha Asghar MS said: “Sparkle is a fantastic charity which helps countless young people with disabilities and developmental difficulties in my region.

“Not too long ago I was fortunate enough to visit Serennu, where Sparkle is based, to get a first-hand look at some of the great work they do, meet some of the young people benefitting from Sparkle, and talk with the team behind the charity.

“Sparkle is entirely dependent on donations and grants to run its impressive services so I know they will be extremely grateful for all the money Chris and his wife are raising by taking part in this gruelling 10-hour danceathon.

“I really do take my hat off to the pair of them and wish them all the very best as they tear up the dancefloor in aid of this truly wonderful charity.”

Donations to the 10-hour danceathon can be made here.

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