Burlesque trouping the colour in Lanarkshire for SSAFA

26 March 2024

Cheeky Cherries, Strawberry Tarts, Kinky Kiwis, & Perky Peaches… It is unlikely that those words have ever before featured in a fundraising, or any other, story from SSAFA.

But there is a first time for everything and as those words are actually the names of burlesque performers who put on a show at Blantyre Victoria FC for SSAFA, it is quite acceptable.

The event was organised by Nikkole Jamieson, a burlesque chair dance instructor with classes in Stonehouse, Strathaven, and Hamilton in South Lanarkshire.

Nikkole’s aim is to help ladies love themselves again, get fit or lose weight, gain confidence, make new friendships, and as she says, have fun.

Nikkole adds: “We celebrate all different ages, shapes and sizes, and though my wonderful ladies have only been a team for 10 months, and most of them have never danced before, they have overcome many fears. They’re truly the best team in the shire, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Proud she and the ladies should be because between them, they raised more than £1,000 for SSAFA – all the more deserving of congratulations as it was Nikkole’s first time organising a fundraising event.

There is, of course, a reason behind the burlesque fundraiser for SSAFA, and it is one very personal to Nikkole.

Nikkole’s father, Scots Guards veteran Gary, has been a SSAFA beneficiary and a long-time supporter of the charity.

He has taken part in Kiltwalks and spoken at events bringing a busy restaurant – and two political leaders – to silence as they listened to his story of losing three limbs in an IED blast in Afghanistan and how he has persevered.

Nikkole says: “SSAFA was one of the amazing charities that helped my father and my family through his horrible time, and I had had to give back for this reason. SSAFA has done so much, and I don't think I will ever be able to thank them enough, but I will try.”

Nikkole ended by giving her thanks to both the ladies of her burlesque troupe and Scott Cunningham, SSAFA’s Challenge and Community Events Officer in Scotland, adding that she and her amazing ladies look forward to working with SSAFA in the future.

Since that night Nikkole has also entered a team of 20 dancers – the Burlesque Troupers – from her classes for the 11-mile Big Stroll, part of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk, on September 15 to raise further funds for SSAFA in Scotland.

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