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Strictly Air Ambulance: Charity evening featuring Pasha Kovalev and other professional dancers, hosted by Lisa Snowdon, back to keep emergency medical helicopter flying

Strictly Air Ambulance is back for 2023 as professional dancers and their partners take to the floor to raise money for the helicopter emergency medical service for Hertfordshire and Essex.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) charity's most glamorous night of the year will be hosted for the first time by its new celebrity ambassador, TV and radio presenter and former model Lisa Snowdon, and ITV presenter David Whiteley.

The event will take place at Colchester's Charter Hall on March 25. Tickets are now on sale at www.colchester-events.co.uk

Professionals pair up with amateurs for the dance competition. (61193890)
Professionals pair up with amateurs for the dance competition. (61193890)

The evening has all the glitz of BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing and follows a similar format with six couples – each one a pro paired with a dancing newcomer – performing Latin and ballroom routines in front of a live audience and being critiqued and scored by a panel of judges.

One couple will walk away with the glitter ball trophy and the title of Strictly Air Ambulance Champions 2023.

Usually a sell-out event, there will also be performances from celebrity professional dancers Pasha Kovalev and Chloe Hewitt from Strictly Come Dancing. They will also form part of the judging panel, joining EHAAT chief executive Jane Gurney, pro Latin dancer Ben Milan Vega and head judge Phil Meacham, of Chelmsford Dance Centre.

Lisa Snowdon has joined EHAAT as a celebrity ambassador (61198598)
Lisa Snowdon has joined EHAAT as a celebrity ambassador (61198598)

Sponsored by TC Group and Roomes Furniture, tickets cost £20 to £27.50. For £10 more, there is also an opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars of the show, grab a bite to eat and dance to a DJ at the after-show party from 10.30pm till 12.30am.

Jane Gurney, an avid dancer since childhood, said: "This is a brilliant opportunity to enjoy some spectacular dancing and entertainment whilst at the same time helping us to continue our vital work as a charity across the region. Although we're very excited about our celebrities, let's not forget the evening is a fundraising event to support the pre-hospital emergency services we provide to our local communities.

"Our six contestants have been paired with professional dancers and have already been given their dances. They're now hard at work as they prepare to battle it out for the glitter ball trophy.

“Tickets always sell fast, so I would recommend stocking up before Christmas – they always make great gifts for the Strictly fans in your life. I for one am looking forward to getting my dancing shoes on!”

Pasha Kovalev will be one of the judges and also performing with Chloe Hewitt
Pasha Kovalev will be one of the judges and also performing with Chloe Hewitt

The air ambulance service is provided free of charge but, as a charity, it has to fundraise for its operating costs of around £750,000 a month. The fleet consists of two helicopters – based at North Weald and Earls Colne – and five rapid response vehicles (RRVs).

Each helicopter team consists of two pilots, a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic.

In 2021 they attended 2,545 missions – that's 485 road traffic collisions, 991 medical emergencies, 419 accidental injuries and 650 other trauma incidents – with each one costing around £2,200. Just over half the missions (1,317) were delivered by air ambulance and the 1,228 others by RRV.

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