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Anton Du Beke, Katya Jones and Graziano Di Prima will all be swapping their dancing shoes for hard hats and tool belts as they join Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS Big Build team in Newcastle to take on the next big project.

Performing Arts school True Colours, situated in Wallsend, Newcastle is in desperate need of the DIY SOS team. The inclusive dance school teaches dance and theatre skills to 500 children and young adults weekly, many of whom have disabilities and learning needs.

Its founder, Alisar-Jane was inspired to create the group after two life-changing events. She was diagnosed with ADHD and Autism as an adult and her love of dance helped her to get through her diagnosis, and her niece was then diagnosed with a life-limiting condition as a toddler. Alisar-Jane was determined to take her to dance classes but found a lack of fun and accessible groups to attend, and so True Colours was born.

The school has grown substantially over time and they’ve completely outgrown their existing space and are unfortunately having to turn away new members with a long waiting list.

They’ve been given the keys to a run-down old boys club which has potential but currently, there’s no electricity, heating, natural light or disabled access and as a small charity they have limited funds in order to renovate it.

Their derelict new but old building is in a dire state, desperately in need of work so that True Colours can help transform more young lives. So who better to help than Nick and his team of builders and volunteers, and to add that extra bit of glamour and sparkle a team of Strictly Come Dancing stars.

Nick Knowles comments: “We’re back, and what a way to kick off the Big Build with a brilliant group of Strictly stars that will inspire and delight the children, young adults and staff from True Colours. This Performing Arts School really needs a transformation, they do an excellent job in Wallsend and if we can help them grow so they can accept more students, then we’re going to go above and beyond.”

Anton Du Beke says: “What Alisar-Jane and her team is doing is very special. Myself, Katya and Graziano understand the power of dance and how it brings people together. This could really transform not just the building but the community too. We are thrilled to help out and bring some Strictly magic to the proceedings. And who knows, we may see a future Strictly star in our midst!”

BBC Head of Factual Entertainment and Events, Catherine Catton, comments: “I’m so proud of the partnership between two of the BBC’s biggest brands, coming together to help a community in need.”

DIY SOS The Big Build will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.


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