A 16-year-old boy single-handedly organised a charity football match to raise money for Chorley children’s hospice, Derian House – where he one day hopes to help care for its families.
Ellis Wignall, of Blackburn, has been fundraising for the charity since attending Darwen Vale High School, where he took part in the school’s yearly sponsored all-day, non-stop, army-style circuit training event.
This inspired the youngster to organise his own fundraising events, with his second charity match raising a whopping £3,000.
Hundreds came to watch the two teams, made up of Ellis’s friends and family, compete against each other at Mill Hill St Peter’s Sports and Social Club, Blackburn, on Sunday 6 August.
Ellis waited until after he finished his GCSEs to organise this year’s event, and is due to study health and social care at Blackburn College in September with the goal to one day become a Derian House nurse.
“I knew I wanted to go into nursing.” Said Ellis.
“When I had a tour of Derian House after our school’s yearly fundraising event, it really opened my eyes a lot more. I realised I would love to work there.”
Ellis organised his first charity football match in 2022 and raised over £2,000 for the charity.
“Raising money for Derian House is important to me.” He continued.
“It’s local to the community and well-known to a lot of people. Ever since the match last year, my love of the hospice has only grown even more.
“The atmosphere at this year’s match was amazing. You could hear people clapping and see when the crowd were on tenterhooks. I really hope it all makes a difference to the children and families at Derian House.”
Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Ellis has done an incredible job doing all of this himself – what an inspirational young person. We wish him all the luck in the world in his hopes to become a nurse.
“It will cost us £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023, so we rely heavily on the generosity of our incredible supporters – just like Ellis.”
Based in Chorley, the hospice cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.