Demelza is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our Vice President Len Goodman.

Len, who was a long-term supporter of Demelza, passed away peacefully on Saturday (22 April), aged 78.

The professional ballroom dancer and former head judge of BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was devoted to fundraising for Demelza, having appeared on TV shows ‘Tipping Point: Lucky Stars’ and ‘The Weakest Link’ and was a proud ambassador of Demelza’s Goodman Celebration Tree.

The tree sculpture, which was unveiled by Len in 2013 at Demelza Kent, offers individuals, groups and businesses the chance to celebrate a life, mark a special anniversary or recognise an achievement by purchasing a personalised engraved copper leaf.

Last Christmas, Demelza was delighted to welcome Len to our annual Celebration of Christmas event at Canterbury Cathedral where he delighted the audience with a reading of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

The dance coach from Kent also supported Demelza throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, taking a starring role in Demelza’s 2020 virtual family quiz and recording a heartfelt message of thanks to Demelza volunteers who continued to give their time during a challenging period.

Prior to this, Len also lent his voice to Demelza’s 2019 Christmas appeal video, helping to raise almost £30,000 to fund our care at home services.

In a statement released by his family today (Monday 24 April), Len is described as: ‘A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.’

Paying tribute to Len, Demelza’s CEO Lavinia Jarrett, added: “Demelza is truly thankful to Len for his unwavering kindness and support over the years. Our sincerest condolences are with his wife Sue, son James and the extended Goodman family at this incredibly sad time.”