Stratford-based fundraising team Nightingale FC scoop top Birmingham County FA award
HUMBLED Nightingale FC manager Nick Sanders says there’s “massive potential” for the club to achieve even more after it won a top Birmingham County FA accolade.
The fundraising team, named after the Covid-19 overspill hospitals in Birmingham and London, picked up the Spirit of Football award and will now be put forward for the FA and McDonald’s grassroots football awards later this year.
The Spirit of Football award is for individuals, clubs, leagues or groups who see grassroots football as a place to positively impact the wellbeing of all.
Since setting up base at Stratford Town’s Arden Garages Stadium in April, Sanders has been overwhelmed by the ongoing support the Bards and the local community has shown in raising money for NHS Charities Together and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charitable Fund.
So far £9,500 has been raised by the team for the two charities in the space of three months, but that figure will rise to £10,000 once the money made from the North Wales Dragons game is added.
And adding in the funds raised by opposition teams, it brings the grand total to £15,000 – a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.
But the hard work doesn’t stop there and Sanders told the Herald that the award was just the start of things to come: “To be nominated for the award in the first place took us by surprise, but then to go and win it was a massive boost for everyone.
"Winning the Spirit of Football award has made everyone aware that we have been really successful in such a short space of time.
“It’s important for us now to keep that hard work going because there will be that expectation for us to keep doing what we’re doing and we can’t let that drop.
“There’s massive potential for us to achieve even more and winning the award has given us some fresh ideas on how to continue our hard work.”
Reflecting on the support Stratford Town has shown over the last few months, Sanders added: “It’s a real home from home. Whenever we ask for advice or have a problem they answer straight away or point us in the direction of someone who can help.
“One of the things we want to start doing now is helping them out even more because they have never asked for anything. Whether it’s getting new sponsors or getting more people through the turnstiles, we want to give something back.”
Nightingale are keen to add more volunteers to the team and anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sanders on 07423 170955.
The team’s next game is on Saturday, 15th August, when they welcome Sands United Kent to the Arden Garages Stadium.