Friend holds fundraising event to help popular Harborough dance teacher as she battles cancer

Sophie Williams (left) and her friend Cate Whitmore.
Sophie Williams (left) and her friend Cate Whitmore.

Friends are rallying around to help a dance teacher’s battle against cancer.

And you can help too, thanks to a fundraising event this weekend.

Cate Whitmore, 43, was doing administration for a dance group in the town when she became friends with Sophie Williams, a 48-year-old mother who was working as a dance teacher.

The two have been friends for about 10 years, and when Ms Williams, known as ‘Miss Sophie’ to her students, was diagnosed with cancer last year Miss Whitmore wanted to help.

“She’s due a 14-hour life-saving operation in a few weeks,” said Miss Whitmore.

“She’s in a tiny room in the Royal Leicester Infirmary and she’s been there quite a while.

“She’s not allowed out and she’s being kept in isolation because her immune system is so down and they can’t risk her even catching a bug because it could stop them doing the operation.”

It is also expected that Ms Williams will have to spend considerable time in intensive care following the operation.

Miss Whitmore has set up a sponsored danceathon to raise funds for Ms Williams to be able to have a laptop or tablet and a mobile contract with which to access the internet while she is in hospital.

“The hospital has wifi but because of where she is she can’t get any signal,”Miss Whitmore said.

“She’s using a phone and having to constantly pay to get more data.

“Because she is in isolation this is how she has been keeping in touch with the outside world.”

For Miss Whitmore this is also a thanks for Ms Williams’ support.

In 2017 Miss Whitmore had a fall which has left her in a wheelchair. She said Ms Williams supported her all through her treatment.

Miss Whitmore will attend the danceathon in her wheelchair. “I want people to know that anyone can turn up and have fun,” she said.

The dance will be held at Welland Park Academy, where Ms Williams held her dance classes.

It takes place on Saturday, April 13, between 10am and 3pm. Miss Whitmore is asking for a £5 donation per family, with raffle donations and cake stall donations greatly received on the day between 9am and 10am.

To donate, or to learn more, visit
Miss Whitmore said she would like to ask anyone with expertise in IT to advise her of how best to use the donations to set up a new device with a reliable internet connection.

If you can help, email