Shieldhill Zumba instructor's virtual classes raise four-figure sum for Strathcarron Hospice

Zumba participants from across the globe have helped a Shieldhill-based instructor to raise more than £1100 for a palliative care service.
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Anne Marie Duffie initially relaunched her workout classes online to help others stay positive throughout lockdown.

After visiting her husband in the UAE while he was on business, Anne Marie became “stuck” upon her return to Scotland when the country was struck by Covid-19 in March.

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Her thinking was she would support friends’ and her own mental health during the coronavirus pandemic by hosting virtual Zumba sessions from her garden.

Anne Marie Duffie’s virtual Zumba classes are in aid of Strathcarron. Picture: Michael Gillen.Anne Marie Duffie’s virtual Zumba classes are in aid of Strathcarron. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Anne Marie Duffie’s virtual Zumba classes are in aid of Strathcarron. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The classes proved so popular that she found herself instructing women from three different continents during the workouts, which are held every other day.

Although Anne Marie pays for the Zoom video conference calls herself, she declined the offer of money from her friends who were taking part.

Instead, she welcomed a suggestion from participants in Falkirk district for donations to be made to Strathcarron Hospice.

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With the fundraising effort still ongoing, Anne Marie is aiming to bring in even more money for the Fankerton facility.

UAE and US citizens regularly tune into Anne Marie Duffie's Zumba classes. Picture: Michael Gillen.UAE and US citizens regularly tune into Anne Marie Duffie's Zumba classes. Picture: Michael Gillen.
UAE and US citizens regularly tune into Anne Marie Duffie's Zumba classes. Picture: Michael Gillen.

As she detailed how the sessions came to be, she said: “It was really for people’s mental health.

“I was speaking to a group of ladies I know and said, ‘What if we did classes just for us?’

“They suggested doing it for charity and it has evovled into us doing it for Strathcarron, which is fantastic.

“I’ve got a lady from Connecticut, a lady from Abu Dhabi and one in Florida who’s getting up at 6am to do it!”