Pride of Britain 2021: Meet Regional Fundraiser of the Year finalist Michelle Hankinson

It's the return of Pride of Britain, where we applaud some of those whose fundraising has made a big difference in their community.

We meet Northumberland dance teacher Michelle Hankinson, whose generosity to local charities goes back 39 years.

With the help of students from her dance school in the village of Ellington near Ashington, Michelle has raised £50,000 for causes close to her heart.

Every year the school puts on 2 dance shows raising money for North East charities.

Michelle said: “I just felt if I was going to do something and show off the dance side I could not take any money for doing that because that is not what I do dance for. It’s about my passion for dance.”

Dance is a passion that started at a young age, she took over the dance school when she was just 16.

The charities are picked by Michelle and the girls - often they've supported family members or friends 

One of the dozens to benefit is Walkergate Park Rehabilitation hospital in Newcastle.

Michelle's donation bought these bikes at Walkergate Park Rehabilitation hospital in Newcastle.

Jen Fairhurst, a physiotherapist at Walkergate Park said: “A lot of our patients have spent a long time in hospital, and a long time having to get used to life which isn’t the same as before.

"Some opportunity to be about and to experience the wind on their face and the sunshine is brilliant. And this is something we would have not been able to do without that support.”

Michelle's nomination comes from Christina Rowell - who's been coming here since she was 4 years old.

Christina Rowell, Michelle’s School of Dance, said: “We aren’t just a dance school, we are a little family. Michelle has built a family, and the money and the work she does for charity is absolutely amazing.”   

The regional winner will be announced on ITV Tyne Tees on Friday 1 October at 6pm.

For more information visit Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards.