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Ipswich's most glamorous party? Strictly ball delights guests

The Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBS

The Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBS

Zoe Gibbs Photography

It was one of the parties of the year - but if you didn't make it to Inspire Suffolk's Strictly Charity ball, these photos will show you just what you missed.

The Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBSThe Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBS

The event has become a fixture on the charity's calendar, having become famous for its glitz and glamour over the past six years.

And this year's event at Trinity Park not only wowed guests but will have a huge benefit to the young people Inspire Suffolk works with - for £20,000 was raised to help with the charity's work.

Sara Warburton, fundraising and events officer at Inspire Suffolk, said: "We are amazed with the support we have received this year for our Strictly Charity fundraiser event.

"We have by far exceeded the amount we had hoped to raise and are truly grateful to everyone who has supported us with this event.

The Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBSThe Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBS

"We would also like to thank our incredible volunteer dancers who have worked tirelessly over the last 10 weeks and the Ipswich School of Dancing who have given up so much of their time to support the dancers and the charity.

"The amount we have raised is going to make a huge difference to the young people we support through our programmes."

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The annual fundraiser, sponsored by Willis Watson Towers, is in the style of popular BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.

The Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBSThe Strictly Charity Ball raised more than �20,000. Picture: ZOE GIBBS

Eleven volunteer dancers with little or no previous dancing experience have been fundraising and learning to dance for the past 10 weeks, with the support of semi-professional partners and teachers from Ipswich School of Dancing.

It led up to the Strictly Charity Finale, where dancers performed one ballroom and one Latin dance to a crowd of friends, family and Inspire Suffolk supporters.

A panel of judges included ballroom star and world-class judge Gary Edwards, Sarah Wagstaff-Till, Janine Ellis from Ipswich School of Dancing and Peter Dawes Patron of Inspire Suffolk.

Inspire Suffolk helps young people to build a positive future for themselves through various personal development courses guiding them into employment, education, volunteering or further training.

The charity, based in Lindbergh Road, Ipswich, is independently funded and relies on fundraising events, donations and grants.

The money raised from the ball on Saturday, July 20 will provide "life-changing personal development programmes and engaging sport activities that local disadvantaged young people need and may not otherwise have access to", a spokesman said.

Those who want to take part in next year's event should get in touch with Ms Warburton on 01473 353194 or saraw@inspiresuffolk.org.uk

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