Charity champion shares his experience

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As a local, independent children’s charity, we rely heavily on the support of the local community. Schools, companies, groups and individuals can choose to support us in a number of ways and their fundraising really does make a real difference to the lives of sick children in Sussex.

Rockinghorse supporter Danny Borrer, 28, from Shoreham, is one such individual who has been busy fundraising. He raised an incredible £3,370.50 for us by holding a charity football match back in December and we were delighted to welcome him to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital for an official cheque presentation and tour of the facilities (pictured above).

We spoke to Danny about the event and he has kindly shared his experience to demonstrate to other supporters, who are thinking about holding their own fundraisers, how he did it…

So Danny, tell us more about your event…

Danny: The Charity Cup was held at Southwick Football Club on Sunday 20 December 2015. It was a full 11-a-side 90 minute game with two managers, a county FA referee and linesmen, with 33 players taking part (including subs) – mainly mates – with over 100 friends and family coming along to show their support. I was the captain of one team, and my good friend, Tom Spencer, was captain of the opposing team.

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Have you organised a charity event before?

Danny: Yes, this is the second charity football match I have organised. My first match in 2014 raised £3,000 which was divided between two other local charities.

How did you go about organising your most recent charity match?

Danny: I play football for Southwick so I struck a deal with the club so that they provided me with the use of the ground for free in exchange for a certain amount being spent behind the bar. Thanks to a friend of mine, I managed to get the event poster designed for free. I charged each player £20 to take part and also encouraged them to raise a bit of extra sponsorship each. I also charged spectators £1 each to get in.

On top of this, to raise extra money and increase competition between players, whoever raised the most money from each team got to take the penalties and free-kicks…if players got booked, they had to pay a £5 fine. I sought sponsorship from local businesses to cover the cost of things like the football kits; many thanks to Danny O’Brien from PH Jones for contributing, and my best mate Matt from Renovate and Extend for his £250 sponsorship which helped to cover costs.

I also organised for a charity raffle (where I charged £1 for a ticket) and an auction to be held on the day and actively went out and sought all the prizes myself. Huge thanks to all the local businesses who supported the event by donating a raffle or auction item, including; Barlows Electrical for donating a 32 inch TV and a microwave, B&M double glazing for donating a 36 inch TV, Pandora for donating £70 worth of jewellery and Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club for donating a signed shirt by all of the first team which raised £375 in the auction. A special mention to Barlows Electrical MD, Darren Barlow, who cashed up the scrap from bits lying around, donating £650 to Rockinghorse, and to my girlfriend Chelsey Woodham and friend Ashleigh Longley for helping with the raffle.

In addition to the raffle and auction, I also organised a burger and hotdog stall which was manned by friends and family. It was a lot of hard work but it was a great day and I was so pleased with the turnout and all of the support I received, and of course the amount of money raised for Rockinghorse.

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Why did you choose to support Rockinghorse?

Danny: It wasn’t just a decision of mine, but a decision I put to the players taking part in The Charity Cup too. We wanted to support a charity that’s local to us, and also one that supports kids and Rockinghorse’s name came up. I called the office to find out more and then met with Analiese (Head of Fundraising) and Liz (Schools & Community Fundraiser) to talk about my event. They were extremely accommodating, were really friendly and understood the event and I knew the money raised was going to be appreciated. Liz came down on the day and provided us with Rockinghorse branded materials such as banners and collection buckets.

Following the event, I met with Liz at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton for a tour of the facilities with Amy Farmer, a Play Team specialist, to understand how the money raised would benefit young patients. I also took part in an official cheque presentation with their big comedy cheque! The money raised at the charity football match is going to be used to buy a number of nebulisers for the children’s hospital to treat kids with respiratory conditions – it’s so pleasing to know that the money raised is going to make a real difference and will help sick children right here in Sussex.

Is there any advice you’d give to other supporters about organising their own charity event?

Danny: I would say it’s really helpful to try and get friends or family involved and bounce ideas off each other. Think about holding an event that will appeal to a lot of people so they can buy in to it and enjoy it. Even though Christmas time isn’t ideal for outdoor events weather wise, it is a great time of year to engage with the public as everyone is in high spirits and willing to give!

Start off on a smaller scale and think about every detail of the event and its fundraising element – don’t just raise funds by charging entry for example – think about how you can maximise the opportunity to raise funds and don’t restrict the event to one source of income. Call on local businesses to help any way they can – be it sponsorship or donating a prize – you can always ask the question and the worst that can happen is that they say no, but you’ll be surprised at how many will want to support you.

Do you have any plans for future charity events?

Danny: Absolutely! I’m planning to hold The Charity Cup every year now.

Thanks so much to Danny for his amazing support!

If you’d like to get involved and fundraise for Rockinghorse, please get in touch by calling us on 01273 330044 or by emailing

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