THE MYSTIC of the Middle East was brought to Batchley last weekend as a belly dancing troupe sashayed their hips in aid of Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group.
Emma Wheate led her belly dancing beauties, along with members of Can-Can group, Can-Can Collective, in a Hafla – an Arabic word meaning a party or social gathering – last Saturday (October 17).
The event, which was held at Bridley Moor and Batchley Social Club, raised £864 for the charity.
The belly dancing instructor, who runs Belly Jewels from Webheath Village Hall and the social club itself, holds a Hafla twice a year and chooses to support smaller local charities that do not receive the funding and recognition that larger more well-known ones do.
She has so far raised £10,063 for various causes through the Haflas, but this year Emma picked a cause close to her heart.
“My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year,” she said. “It was only by visiting a voluntary drop-in clinic run by this charity that it was picked up.”
Emma, alongside her Belly Jewel girls and a crowd of 150 guests, was honoured to welcome David Baxter-Smith, a retired consultant urological surgeon and founder of the charity, who attended the Hafla with his wife and gave a speech on how their clinics help with an early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Nationwide, Worcestershire Prostate Awareness Group has carried out over 47,000 prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests at 585 events.
David added he knows of 878 men just like Emma’s dad who were diagnosed with early prostate cancer as a result of such testing.
The blood test itself is quite a simple procedure but each test costs the charity, which relies solely on donations, £15.