Bradford tutu man plans round-the-world dance fundraiser

Wiltshire Times: Former St Laurence School pupil Ben Hammond is eyeing a 17,643-mile danceathon for UNICEF Former St Laurence School pupil Ben Hammond is eyeing a 17,643-mile danceathon for UNICEF

Fundraiser Ben Hammond is stepping up his charity efforts by planning to dance round the world for UNICEF wearing his infamous tutu.

Last year the 36-year-old danced 1,357 miles from John o’ Groats to Land’s End, but he has now set himself the challenge of pirouetting 17,643 miles across the globe.

A former pupil of Bradford on Avon’s St Laurence School, he said: “I am going to be doing this challenge for a number of years and wanted a charity that can stay relevant. The fact UNICEF is a global organisation means it reaches people from countries I will be dancing through.”

Mr Hammond works as a lecturer at the Institute of Education in London and will spend two summers dancing across America and two summers dancing across Australia before hoping to take on the challenge full-time.

He will have a support team of three people and will rely on supporters to lend accommodation, but will have camping equipment as a backup. As with his last challenge, he will be stopping at schools to educate pupils about why he is dancing around the world.

He said: “I am an educationalist. It is a big part of the project and I want to try and engage the children to make a difference in the world.”

Mr Hammond set off in August 2012 for the first ever dance across Britain, but was knocked down by a drink-driver the same day he danced through his home town of Bradford.

A few weeks later, a foot injury forced him to postpone the challenge until the summer, where upon completion he raised £40,000, split between Amnesty International, Burma Campaign UK, Partners Relief and Development, Learn Burma and Prospect Burma.

He has started his training by dancing through the streets of London and aims to set off in summer 2015, dancing 22 miles a day, six days a week.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/planetprancer

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