The People - - NEWS FEATURES -

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

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