Multiple Sclerosis Volunteer of the Year, Trishna Bharadia, teams up with dancer Aljaz Skorjanez to battle five other couples to win a Comic Relief fundraising special of Strictly Come Dancing The People’s Strictly, which starts on Wednesday 25th February at 9pm on BBC One, follows six lucky people, chosen from thousands of nominees to take part in their very own Strictly experience. Each of the six contributors was chosen for the tireless and selfless part they played in helping change others’ lives for the better. Over the next few weeks, they will be completely immersed in all things Strictly. They’ll go behind the scenes of the famous show and get their first taste of the sequins and sparkle at their very own makeover day.
One of the chosen unsung heroes is Trishna Bharadia, a Multiple Sclerosis and disability fundraiser and awareness campaigner from Buckinghamshire. Trishna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008, at the age of 28. She has since worked tirelessly to help and support others with MS, putting aside her own health issues to help raise awareness and inspire others with the illness. She has worked particularly hard within the Asian community, where she feels that disability is often hidden away and discriminated against, as well as with young people who have been diagnosed with MS.
Trishna volunteers with several MS charities, including the MS Society, Asian MS and the MS Trust and, in 2013, she was named ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the MS Society Awards. As well as fundraising, Trishna is also Editor of the Asian MS quarterly newsletter; writes for MS and disability-awareness magazines and blogs; and speaks at both local events and large pharmaceutical conferences about MS – something which was initially very hard for her due to her shyness and fear of public speaking. She is keen to put a ‘face’ to MS, rather than being viewed as a statistic.
Outside of her time spent volunteering, Trishna works hard to ensure MS doesn’t stop her leading an active life – she plays hockey and attends regular Zumba classes. She is a Strictly Come Dancing super-fan who never misses an episode. Commenting on her excitement for the show, she says,
“Whether or not you win, you feel as though you’ve already won. I’m getting to do things I’d never have dreamed about.”
The money raised from the show will be spent helping to change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and across Africa.