Our heroes BALLROOM TONIC FOR THE STRICKEN TROOPS
HOW TO GIVE
ARMY veterans whose bodies were shattered by bombs and bullets are learning to live again through the joy of dance. And once super-fit troops crippled by mental problems after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are also beating their demons. Professional Gary Edwards, a pal of Strictly legend Len Goodman, has launched the Dancing With Heroes campaign along with the Services charities Back On Track and the Lee Rigby Foundation. Last Saturday injured vets and celebrities sparkled at the Dancing With Heroes ball at London’s Royal Garden Hotel. Stars included Lorraine Chase, Vicki Michelle, Loose Women presenter Andrea Mclean, and Eastenders actress Gillian Taylforth. Private Mark Allen, 28, who lost both legs in Afghanistan when he stepped on a bomb, wowed the ball by performing a wheelchair tango.
He said: “I had no idea it was possible to dance in a wheelchair but it’s a wonderful experience and puts a smile on my face.” Pete Hobbs, 32, a former Sapper with 39 Engineer Regiment who spiralled into decline after a string of shoulder injuries, said: “Ballroom has been great for me mentally and has helped me regain some mobility.”
FIGHT: Dad Geoff & our front page TA-DAH: Organiser Gary, Pete and Mark BEFORE: Pete in the Engineers STAR NIGHT: Mark with Lorraine and Vicki SOLDIER: Mark in Afghanistan