Strictly-style fundraiser for Sergeant's children’s charity
Main article content
Police officers and staff are to take part in a Strictly Come Dancing-style competition to raise money for a children’s charity in memory of a sergeant’s daughter.
The Magic of Milly charity was set up in 2015 following the death of Sgt Emma Hill’s daughter Milly, the night before her second birthday, as a result of post-operative complications for her rare congenital condition.
Since Milly’s death, the charity has raised £140,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, which treated Milly throughout her short life.
Now, the ‘Strictly for Milly’ fundraiser is set to do the same, when competitors take to the stage at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall on Saturday 27 August at 7pm.
Sgt Hill, who is based at Lichfield, said: “I hope we can reach our next target of £250,000 for the hospital which worked so tirelessly to help Milly and continues to do such amazing work in supporting little ones and families like ours.”
Luke Manley, of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, who is taking part in the competition as an amateur dancer, said: “Emma and the Magic of Milly team have raised an incredible amount for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity PICU department over several years which has risen a staggering amount in loving memory of the beautiful Milly.
“It’s clear to see just how loved Emma and Milly are across the community and we are extremally lucky and thankful for Emma’s support in allowing our trust colleagues to do more for our 90,000 brave children and their families.”
Competitors began training on 1 June, with one such competitor retired Detective Chief Inspector, Ash Farrington.
DCI Farrington, who has no prior dance training, and is the self-proclaimed Ann Widdecombe of the amateur dancers, is to take to the stage as part of the event.
He said: “It’s an absolute privilege to have been asked to do this – for an amazing charity and an amazing hospital.
“Though I can’t dance to save my life, I’m a firm believer in doing something every day that scares you - this is one such thing for me, but it’s so worth it if we can continue to raise funds for this fantastic cause.”
The event will see a total of eight professional dancers perform individually with their amateur partners and then take to the floor in a group dance.
A total of 30 volunteers are also due to help out on the night.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the dancers’ training will pay off,” Emma said.
“It is such hard work and commitment, but is for such a good cause – I’m so grateful to everyone who is taking part and all those who are supporting us.
“This is such a positive way of remembering Milly and the light she brought to so many people’s lives.
“She was such a vivacious little girl, so it’s only right that we continue to raise money for the hospital that helped her live her life to the full for as long as possible.
“I’d like to tell the competitors to ‘break a leg’ but I don’t think that would be helpful in the circumstances!” Emma added.
Mr Manley said: “I was incredibly honoured when I was approached to take part in the competition, which I have no doubt will be yet another hit for the Magic of Milly team.
“Whilst I’m not sure I will get a ‘10 from Len’, I am still extremely looking forward to treading the boards and taking part in this wonderful event. I cannot wait give it my all!”