Crawley footballer in celebrity match for children’s hospice

Crawley's Darren Bulled has signed up to play in a charity football tournament in aid of the Sussex children's hospice Chestnut Tree House - picture submitted
Crawley's Darren Bulled has signed up to play in a charity football tournament in aid of the Sussex children's hospice Chestnut Tree House - picture submitted

A Crawley man has signed up to play in a celebrity football tournament in aid of the Sussex children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House.

Darren Bulled, 26, from Southgate, got involved after his colleague at G4S’s Gatwick Airport detention centre organised a similar celebrity match last year.

During the past 18 months his co-worker Jamie Westley has raised £12,400 for the hospice through raffles, paintballing days and the Three Peaks Challenge.

Darren, who is a keen footballer and Arsenal supporter, has been helping him promote the team by producing flyers and posters for a second celebrity football match next month.

He said: “We have managed to recruit a lot of players already, many of whom had not heard of Chestnut Tree House before, so the project has been a great way to raise awareness of this amazing charity. It has also been a fun way to meet new people, as not all players knew each other. We have had some fun informal training sessions and social meet ups.

“The project is really growing and we are looking forward to an exciting fixture on February 27, where it is hoped some celebrity players will be joining in with the fun.”

Jamie is also hoping to host an annual football tournament and an annual dinner . He said: “I have no direct dealings with Chestnut Tree House, but being a family man with more children on the way, I saw a need for funds for Chestnut Tree House and the amazing work they do for children and their families.

“I have raised an approximate £12,400 since I started raising money for Chestnut Tree House and by this time next year I am aiming to get that amount to nearer £30,000, with more people getting involved and more ideas for money raising events.”

The opening game will be against Portsmouth Charity Team with further games against teams from ‘Give 4 Beth’, Football for Cancer, The Post Office, Gatwick Airport and an annual Celebrity Team also lined up.Jamie is also looking for any businesses who would also like to challenge the team for annual games or a one off fixture.

Terrina Barnes, Corporate Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree House, said: “We are really excited to have an official football team representing our hospice, helping to raise much-needed funds and awareness of what we do.

“Chestnut Tree House helps over 300 children and their families in both East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire, so I hope that players and teams from across the region will be keen to sign up and support Jamie’s initiative.”

For more information, search “Charity Football Team Recruitment” on Facebook, or contact Jamie on jayblue50501@yahoo.co.uk or 07958577936.

To find out more about Chestnut Tree House hospice go to www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk