Darren became a Willow Champion in October 2016 and has since helped promote Willow north of the border in Kilmarnock and Glasgow. He tells us about why he became a Champion and what he's been doing this year to raise awareness of Special Days...

“My involvement with Willow started when a close friend of mine had a Special Day. Our group of friends could all see how much the day meant to him and the positive memories it created for him and his wife, so when I read about Willow Champions I decided to apply. I wanted to become a Champion to help spread the word of the great work done by Willow in Scotland, and also to fundraise as much as possible so that Special Days can continue to create fantastic memories for families.

As a self-employed project manager, I have been doing a lot of work with Barclays in Glasgow. Getting Barclays on board was really key for me as I know they do plenty of charity work. I therefore got in touch and worked with the charity committee and building managers to setup a small Willow stall in the staff café over a couple of lunchtimes. Having the opportunity to advertise and chat with the employees about Willow and help raise awareness was great. Overall the couple of days were really successful in engaging with the staff and even collecting a few donations.

I also helped a close friend organise a charity football match in memory of our friend who had a Special Day. It took place on 26th March in Kilmarnock and we reached out to some local footballing legends to attend. We had a good crowd for the game to witness some great (yet questionable) football skills, as well as raise valuable funds for Willow.

Moving forward I am also looking to arrange a Walk for Willow with Barclays later in the year as a great fundraiser as well as building the profile of Willow with the Barclays staff. Plans are still being confirmed for the walk, but I am hoping to get this moving as soon as possible and to make it a big success.” 

If you have been inspired and would like to find out more about being a Willow Champion, please visit our Champion page or call Chris in our Community Team on 01707 259777 (option 2.)

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