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Cornish carer dances 24 hours to Toto’s Africa again for food bank

A carer from Cornwall who said “never again” after dancing to Toto’s Africa for 24 hours straight has admitted he is tempted to make it an annual tradition after completing the feat for a second time and raising more than £10,000 for charity.

After the same danceathon in January 2022, Dean Pascoe, 35, bopped to 320 loops of the classic pop hit over the course of an entire day from Friday to Saturday.

He took 86,000 steps (around 39 miles) and relied on what he called the “dad dance sway,” which allowed him to conserve energy.

A friend brought over food boxes for Mr Pascoe and his family after he lost his job in 2019 and the pandemic shortened his working hours, inspiring the father-of-three to raise funds for Camborne, Pool, and Redruth (CPR) Food Bank.

He has now managed to raise  around £10,000 for the cause while also grabbing the attention of the band Toto themselves.

“I just think the amount of support I got last year was absolutely incredible, the interest behind it,” Mr Pascoe, from Camborne, told the PA news agency.

Dean Pascoe
Dean Pascoe has raised £10,000 for his local food bank in Camborne, Cornwall (Dean Pascoe/PA)

“And I think as soon as it ended, I said ‘never again’… And then two or three months down the line, I thought I reckon I can do it again.

“It’s such a good cause, CPR food bank. It means so much to me (and) it’s a brilliant charity.”

After raising more than £5,700 last year, Mr Pascoe has already hit the £4,200 mark with his latest fundraiser.

He said the task proved more difficult than last year, especially during the 3am to 4am period at Beacon Cricket Club, but he was sporadically joined by friends and family to help get him through.

Mr Pascoe said 60-70 people, including his wife, Jenna, and their three children, seven-year-old Rosalie, five-year-old Reuben and two-year-old Elliot, were there at the end to “cheer” him on and give him “a bit of an applause”.

He was even given support by Toto the band, who shared Mr Pascoe’s challenge on their official Instagram and Facebook pages.

And although he admitted  it was “a massive relief” to finish, he is already planning next year’s 24-hour Africa danceathon.

Dean Pascoe
Mr Pascoe was joined by friends and family for parts of the challenge, including his seven-year-old daughter Rosalie (Brian Robinson Photography)

“Just like last year, as soon as it finished I said, ‘never again’ but I’m already starting to plan next year’s one,” he said.

“I think it’s become one of those silly annual traditions now.

“(But) I think a few weeks without listening to it is good.

“I don’t want to hear it for a little bit.”

Mr Pascoe said it was a good “motivator” to see his fundraising total increase.

“Seeing that total going up through the 24 hours was incredible,” he said.

“At 2am, 4am it’s just enough to keep you going… And looking forward to that sun coming up again.”

Just like last year, Mr Pascoe said the reaction from the local community has been “beautiful”.

“So many friends and family have donated, but (also) just people in the local area, it’s been shared around various Facebook pages and the Camborne Town Council shared it,” he said.

“It’s amazing who will just chuck in five pounds, 10 pounds. Here, it’s a lot of money to people like that.

“I am incredibly touched every time a donation comes in for it… If people are aware, it’s such a great cause that people are willing to give to it.

“The area that I live in, Camborne, it’s one of the poorest places in Europe… So I just want to give back to my community.”

Mr Pascoe was given no time to rest after the challenge as he quickly returned to looking after his children.

Dean Pascoe
The father-of-three even had a personalised sweatband (Dean Pascoe/PA)

“My wake-up call was bang on 7am the day after – the kids wanted to go out for a beach walk and climb sand dunes,” he added.

“There’s been no rest really, (the) school run…

“But anything is appreciated – just not standing around dancing is appreciated.”

To find out more about Mr Pascoe’s second 24-hour Africa danceathon, go to: www.gofundme.com/AfricaByTotoDanceathon