Whalley teenager leads Manchester ‘flashmob’

ROUSING ROUTINE: Francesca Wheatley's flashmob get ready to perform in Exchange Square, Manchester city centre. (s)
ROUSING ROUTINE: Francesca Wheatley's flashmob get ready to perform in Exchange Square, Manchester city centre. (s)

Whalley girl Francesca Wheatley has already shown she is made of stern stuff after sitting 11 GCSEs whilst undergoing gruelling treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, vowing at the time: “Cancer will not define me”.

Now she is finding lots of new ways to raise funds for the Cancer charity CLIC Sargent – and this time it was simply by having fun with her friends.

Francesca (18), of Woodland Park, Whalley, has now been in remission from cancer for over two years and to celebrate, got together with her friends to stage a flashmob event in Manchester City Centre.

She said: “I wanted to do something different to raise money this time and after talking it through with my best friend Katie Jackson, who’s a brilliant dancer, we decided to see if any of our friends would be interested in joining us.

“We wanted non-dancers to be involved as well as dancers, so that it would be a real challenge for people to learn the routine and enjoy learning a new skill.”

“We ended up with over 40 people involved. I was so pleased that so many people wanted to join us and were so committed in coming to regular rehearsals.

“We decided on a cheesy routine that would make people smile, so we went for songs from the musicals ‘Hairspray’, ‘Grease’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.”

After weeks of practising and perfecting their routine, the group performed in Manchester city centre on Saturday, April 13th.

Francesca continued: “We were so nervous, but it was absolutely great. It was really exciting and everyone gave it their absolute all, with so much enthusiasm.

“It went really well and the bucket collectors brought in more than £300 on the day.”

Francesca, who attended Westholme School in Blackburn and then CRGS Sixth Form, will start a social policy course at university in September.

She is also looking forward to the future and more of the same when it comes to fund raising for the charity which means so much to her.

She said: “We’re looking to hold some more flashmob events, starting with one in Clitheroe.

“It’s a really good to be raising money for such a fantastic cause and having so much fun with friends at the same time.”

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. It provides clinical, practical and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families, from diagnosis onwards.

l For more information visit www.clicsargent.org.uk