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Cromer Pier charity dance show for mental health praised as coming 'from the heart'

PUBLISHED: 17:17 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:27 26 April 2019

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

Dave Morris

The organisers, charities, and speakers behind a charity dance show in aid of mental health services in a north Norfolk town affected by a spate of deaths have hailed the event a success that "came from the heart".

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRISPerformances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

Cromer's Marlene's School of Dancing put on the charity event, held at the town's Pier Pavilion Theatre on Thursday, April 25.

And the show, which included speeches from MP Norman Lamb and the brother of a north Norfolk student who took his own life last year, saw more than £300 raised for a new charity based at the town's football club, with more still to come from ticket sales.

Organiser Marlene Duniam said: “It was a fantastic show.

“People were saying its the best thing they'd ever seen on the pier.

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRISPerformances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

“With what's been going on recently with all these young people we wanted to do something.

“I've known quite a few of them and we had Jess Fairweather's brother come and make a speech.

“The whole show came from the heart - everyone felt it.”

The show saw 30 children from the dance school perform choreography around the theme of mental health, developed by Marlene's daughter Millie Duniam.

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRISPerformances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

READ MORE: Song and dance charity night plans prompted by young men's suicides

Twins Polly and Sophie Duniam also performed a set as the band My Bad Sister, and the show included a performance from rapper Question, and a talk by counsellor Julie Berrington.

Jenna Bedwell, one of the founders of the charity Share As One, based at the football club, said: “We raised £308.99 in the charity bucket with more to come from ticket sales.

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRISPerformances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

“One of the things people have been asking for is an arts and crafts group so the money will be going towards supplies for that.”

While MP Norman Lamb said the show was “really impressive”.

He said: “We need to think much more about how we use the money we have for mental health.

“One of the biggest problems we have is children and adults left waiting a long time for support.

Performances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRISPerformances during the Marlene School of Dance charity show for mental health on Cromer Pier. Photo: DAVE MORRIS

“Sometimes dreadful things happen while they're waiting.”

And Kathryn Sault from Empathy, a support group for those bereaved by suicide, added: “There was so much work put in. The standard was amazing.

“People were being really generous with donations as well.”

The free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

• Share As One are campaigning on Cromer Pier on Wednesday, May 8. For more details, visit the campaign's Facebook page.

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