Community support keeps dance and cheer group going after mill fire devastation
Monday 26th March 2018 16:54 Community News Stalybridge Tameside Posted by Tom Greggan

Almost £4,500 has been raised for a local dance and cheerleading group that has been devastated by the Ray Mill fire.

The successful TCA Tycoons were in Nottingham on Saturday for the ICC British Open, and had just won a bid to compete in America, when news of the fire broke.

Members of TCA were distraught at the news, as was owner and founder Jane Wood. Jane says the support from each other, the local public and the cheer community has been getting them through.

TCA only moved into Ray Mill late last year and have since spent tens of thousands of pounds revamping their space. “It took us two years to find a space as good as the mill,” Jane said. “It was perfect for us. One of the Dads spent 10-14 hours a day doing it up for us and he’s lost all his tools in the fire.

“When we heard the news, I think the girls were trying to hold it together because I was in pieces. But the amount of messages and support we have received since has given us the strength to get through this overwhelming time.

“The saving grace is that nobody was in the building at the time. We had 52 children practicing there on Saturday morning. While we’re devastated to have lost everything that was there, it is the people that make the TCA Tycoons family.”

The venue was a second home to TCA’s 160 members, many of whom spent five days a week there. As well as thousands of pounds worth of equipment, numerous items of emotional value have also been lost, including flags, memorabilia and 150 trophies.

Now, TCA are looking for new spaces to practice. Their dance groups are relocating back to Silver Springs Academy for the time being, but a place is still needed for TCA’s cheerleaders. Meanwhile, £4,495 has been raised for TCA in little over a week.

Jane said: “We have very specific requirements for our cheerleaders as we need mats, a certain ceiling height and we need to fit in around the groups’ training times. They have a big ‘Battle of the Champions’ competition coming up in June that they’re desperate to prepare for.

“The dancers are back in training on Sunday as we want to give them as much normality as possible.”

With a number of groups, businesses and charities left with nothing after the fire, they’re hoping to come together and support each other as they face uncertain futures.

“My heart goes out to all the others that were based in Ray Mill,” Jane said. “We’re looking to get together as tenants to see how we can help each other.”

To donate to TCA Tycoons and help them get back on their feet, you can head to www.gofundme.com/help-tca-rise-from-the-ashes. If you know of a space suitable for their cheerleading practice or can help in any other way, you can contact the group on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/TCATYCOONS.