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Six heroes have been chosen to strut their stuff for Strictly.

Anna Kennedy OBE

Anna, from Middlesex, set up the largest school for autism in the UK after sons, Patrick and Angelo, both of whom have autism, were turned away from 26 local mainstream schools. She also runs online support groups for families of those with autism.

Her dance partner is Robin Windsor.

Michael Pattie

Michael, from Dumfries, lost his 13-year-old son, Dave, to meningitis in 1999. He’s since raised over £300,000 for meningitis charities and has seen some money contribute towards the development of a ground-breaking vaccine for meningitis B, available on the NHS.

His dance partner is Aliona Vilani.

Trishna Bharadia

Trishna, from Buckinghamshire, was just 28 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She volunteers for a number of MS charities, working mostly with young people and to raise awareness of the condition within the Asian community.

Her dance partner is Aljaz Scorjanec.

Cassidy Little

Cassidy is a Royal Marine, who lives in Peterborough. Whilst serving in Afghanistan as a medic, he lost the lower half of his leg in an explosion that also killed three of his colleagues and seriously injured another four. He’s helped many others though the rehab process.

His dance partner is Natalie Lowe.

Heather Parsons

Heather, from Southampton, contracted necrotising fasciitis in 2002, suffering a heart attack, organ failure and undergoing 15 operations. She set up her own charity, Where There’s A Will, to provide support for intensive care patients and their families.

Her dance partner is Ian Waite.

Phillip Barnett

Phillip is 54 and comes from St Ives in Cornwall. He gave up a successful hairdressing business in 1994 to set up the theatre company, Kidz R Us, which uses performing arts to improve children’s confidence, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

His dance partner is Janette Manrana.