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World record smashed!

A world record was smashed on Shenfield Common on Sunday as part of a campaign by Jack Baxter, his mother Gaynor, and a group of friends who will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon this Sunday to raise money for the hospice that looked after Jack's Dad, Dave Baxter.
Pic F Final rehearsal rs (cropped)
Dave Baxter, a contractor from Brentwood working with Ford in Dunton, was diagnosed in 2013 with Malignant Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer which had spread to his lungs and liver and his GP referred him to Saint Francis Hospice, based in Havering-atte-Bower, for specialist care. 

"Just before going in to the hospice's inpatient unit we had seen an oncologist at Bart's Hospital and everyone thought Dave had just days to live but the excellent care and treatment he received when he stayed at the hospice was transformative. They completely managed his symptoms during his two-week stay and Dave went from being confined to bed, completely incapacitated to a semblance of his normal self" said Gaynor.

Pic C Crowds gather on Shenfield Common rs
"I'm forever grateful to Saint Francis Hospice for the extra time we got to spend with my Dad. I've made two promises as a result of what happened to him. The first is to always be aware of Melanoma, the fifth most common cancer in England - "my brother and I now have regular mole checks and try to make others aware of the dangers of using sunbeds and not using sun creams, and the second is to always support the hospice" said Jack (pictured with his mum Gaynor at the World Record attempt).. 
 
Jack and several friends ran the London Marathon in 2015 to raise money for the hospice and this year Jack and Gaynor, together with friends James Sapwell, Jack Kennedy, Max Fitch and Andy Gray will be pounding the streets of London on April 24th.

Calling themselves Team Dave Baxter 2016, they have raised over £5,300 by holding quiz and disco nights and on Sunday raised a further £2,800 by getting 491 people to set a new Guinness World Record. This easily broke the previous record of 258 people.

"We set out to hold the world record attempt for the most people dancing to Oops Upside your Head by the Gap Band," said James Sapwell, 25, who served as a Brentwood Borough councillor from 2011 to 2015. 

"We were a little overwhelmed by the response on the day. People came down from London and Southend to take part. People we didn't even know just turned up to help" added James.
Pic C Crowds gather on Shenfield Common rs

At 1.55pm 333 people had queued and got in to the area on Shenfield Common reserved for the record attempt. As they passed under the orange Saint Francis Hospice gazebo people made donations with many giving more generously than the suggested £5 per person joining the record attempt. By 2.05pm there were 491, the sun came out and after a warm up to the song YMCA by the Village People, it was time for everyone to rock and row their way to the Guinness World Record for the most people dancing simultaneously to Oops upside you head by the Gap Band.

Linda Borg, from the fundraising team at Saint Francis Hospice said: "This was an incredible effort by Team Dave Baxter and everyone who came along. The atmosphere was brilliant. Everyone was so happy and positive and we absolutely smashed the previous record!"

You can still make donations to support Team Dave Baxter at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TeamDaveBaxter.

Pic C Crowds gather on Shenfield Common rs
Frankie leads the crowd in a YMCA warm-up

Pic C Crowds gather on Shenfield Common rs
Team Dave Baxter's Andy Gray leads one line of dancers as they smash the record
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