Derby Fundraisers Host 7th Annual Sports Event for Nightingale Unit

A dedicated group of fundraisers from Derby are hosting their annual football and netball tournament at Willows Sports Centre, marking the 7th consecutive year of support for the Nightingale Macmillan Unit. The unit is part of the Royal Derby Hospital and offers specialised care to patients with progressive illnesses.

The event, which takes place on July 13th from 6 pm, is being organised by Darren Mill, his wife Sally, and Willows Sports Centre Manager, James Windscheffel. They initiated the tournament to raise funds for the Nightingale Macmillan Unit, which had been a vital support for their families.

Darren explained, “James and I started this event in memory of my dad, Andy Mill, and a former referee, David Hart, who passed away shortly after my dad. Both were long-standing football referees in the Derby area and had officiated at Willows for over 30 years.”

Since its inception, the tournament has raised over £5,500. Each year, it attracts between 70 and 100 participants who compete in an evening event filled with football and netball matches, with supporters cheering them on. The tournament accommodates up to 16 football teams and 6 netball teams. “We have already filled the netball spots for this year, but we’re still looking for football teams. Interested players can contact Willows Sports Centre at 01332 204004. We also welcome anyone who wishes to come and watch the event,” Darren added.

Jill Matthews, Chief Officer at the Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity, expressed her thanks: “We are incredibly thankful to individuals like Darren, Sally, James, and other community members who dedicate their time to organising and participating in events like the Willows Football and Netball Tournament. Every penny they raise through their fundraising will go to the Nightingale Macmillan Unit, which provides specialised palliative care to patients with progressive illnesses, offering comfort and support in their time of need.  Donations from community fundraising activities make a huge difference to patients and we are truly grateful.”

Darren, Sally, and James encourage others to engage in fundraising for the hospital charity. “We strongly recommend it. Having seen the Nightingale Unit’s impact on patients and their families during challenging times, we know how much it matters.”

Those interested in making a donation can visit the link provided below. Additionally, raffle tickets will be available at the event for those wishing to support the cause further.

Sally Mill is fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support (

We’d like to thank Darren, Sally and James for sharing their story.

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