Life changing

A very special guest surprises local Lancashire inspiration

Jen Blackwell is a passionate dancer and performer. She also has Down’s Syndrome, but she refuses to be defined by her disability. Despite this she’s faced countless challenges in finding suitable dance training and performance opportunities. So in 2009 Jen leapt into action and formed her own company called DanceSyndrome, aiming to empower people, no matter what their ability, through dance.

In 2017, DanceSyndrome was awarded National Lottery funding to help them expand their Everybody Dance programme in Oldham and Beeston. As the founder and Creative Director of the charity, Jen has given so much to the project and brought joy to so many people, so we decided it was time to give something back.

As part of The National Lottery’s Big Surprise on ITV, we arranged a surprise visit from one of Jen’s favourite singers – the 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke. Take a look at what happened when we brought some magic to Jen’s world...

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