An East Dunbartonshire woman has raised £3,000 by hosting CardioFunk fitness classes in the community to raise funds for Beatson Cancer Charity.
53-year old Vicki Houston, who is originally from Coatbridge but moved to Bearsden seven years ago, set up the classes in May last year.
It’s after her mum, Isabel Heffernan from Coatbridge, sadly passed away aged 76 in 2020 after being treated for lung cancer at the Beatson.
All the money raised from the classes held at Bearsden Community Hub is donated to Beatson Cancer Charity. The weekly class at Bearsden Academy has also raised over £750 for Bearsden Academy’s PTA.
WATCH: Bearsden woman raises money hosting fitness classes for Beatson Cancer Charity
Vicki said: “Having been a fitness instructor, a dancer and a dancing teacher for many years, I took a break from teaching to raise my family.
“My day job as a Project Manager also took me all over the country, working in different parts of the UK, so I decided to start up classes again to do something positive.”
Vicki has worked for BAE Systems for 32 years and was heavily involved in the organisation’s menopause campaign.
The fitness instructor says going through the menopause inspired her to start doing something for her wellbeing.
She continued: “The menopause is tough and getting back into teaching has alleviated my menopause symptoms and has helped my fitness and wellbeing - particularly after the pandemic.
“Also during this time, I sadly lost my Mum to lung cancer where The Beatson provided the best care, treatment and support to her.
“I decided to volunteer my time, go back to teaching and do something that was going to have a positive impact on me, the local community and raise money for a cause which is close to most people’s hearts across the west of Scotland.”
PICTURED: Seonaidh McGuire and Vicki Houston
CardioFunk is a class which is a similar style to Zumba, promoting fitness through dancing for all ages.
Some participants have either been patients or have supported family or friends who have been going through treatment at the Beatson.
PICTURED: CardioFunk flyer with class timetable
Vicki said: “I never thought we’d have raised this much because having not taught for so long, I wasn’t sure how the classes were going to go.
“They’re going from strength to strength and the ladies that attend the classes are so supportive because they know that the money is going directly to the Beatson – I think everyone’s got a connection there.
“Everybody’s just amazed when I give an update on how much we’re raising so I think it really motivates us all to keep coming so it’s a really positive thing – not just for me personally but for the whole community.”
Vicki says there’s no plan on stopping any time soon as it’s inspired new challenges.
She continued: “I’m hoping in a month or so we’ll run a 100-minute workout and have a dedicated session to raise money all for the Beatson and we’ll have that as a separate activity over and above the classes.”
Seonaidh McGuire, community engagement fundraiser at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “It always inspires us when our supporters think of different ways to fundraise for our charity.
“Vicki’s classes are a fun way of keeping fit while also supporting cancer patients and their families.
“We would like to thank Vicki and all those who attend the classes each week for their amazing support.”
If you wish to join Vicki's classes, they are suitable for all ages and times are as follows:
Monday @ 17:30 Bearsden Community Hub
Monday @ 19:00 Bearsden Academy
Thursday @ 18:15 Bearsden Community Hub
Friday @ 13:30 Bearsden Community Hub