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Hitman and Her Wiggie raises money for Mind in Furness with a zumba
Hitman and Her dancer Wiggie and gym owner Diane Singleton with some of the ladies who took the Zumba class to raise money for Mind in Furness

A ZUMBA class lead by Hitman and Her dancer Wiggie proved a great success. the event was organised to help raise money for Mind in Furness.

The event kicked off last night at Diane Singleton's gym on Abbey Road, Barrow. The first class was taken by Wiggie and the second by Diane herself.

The Barrow charity has joined forces with four other Cumbrian branches to raise awareness of mental health in the county through a fitness challenge at a local gym.

R.E.D (Run Every Day) January is a fitness movement sweeping the nation, encouraging people to use physical activity to promote mental wellbeing. Those taking part are pledging from five minutes a day to 5 or 10k and beyond for 31 consecutive days.

Keen to make the challenge as accessible as possible, R.E.D organisers are encouraging alternative activities to suit different fitness levels such as walking, cycling or swimming.

Hitman and Her dancer Wiggie and gym owner Diane Singleton with some of the ladies who took the Zumba class to raise money for Mind in Furness

Clive Donaldson, aka "Wiggie" taught Take That's Jason Orange to dance and was a star of the television programme "The Hitman And Her.” He made his name on the hit show presented by Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan which featured night clubs around the country.

Speaking before last night's event he said: "I'm friends with Caz who volunteers at Mind in Furness. She asked me to get involved and I was happy to do it. "I still travel around the country doing Zumba classes and was only too happy to help a local charity."

Donna Duffy attended the class and said she was doing it for a bit of fun. She added: " I have done Zumba before but this was a little different so thought we would get involved and help raise money. We are doing a walk for Mind this year too."

The key message from Mind is that physical and mental health are so closely linked that exercise is not just great for our bodies, it’s beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing too. Physical exertion can reduce anxiety, feelings of stress and the risk of depression. Exercising creates clearer thinking, a greater sense of calm and increases your self-esteem. In fact, if you have a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression, your GP might suggest you do some exercise to lift your mood because it can be a more effective treatment than taking antidepressants.

Melanie Gilmour, Service manager at the Mind in Furness Well-Being Centre, School Street, Barrow, took p[art in last night's Zumba class: "The event was really successful and was a great fun night. A big thank you to Clive for taking the class and Diane for letting us use her venue and taking the time to do a class to help raise money for us here at Mind. "This helps us carry on being able to carry on the work we do in our community.

Hitman and Her dancer Wiggie with some of the ladies who took the Zumba class to raise money for Mind in Furness




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