Congratulations to the winner of our internal Sunflower Growing Competition, Sophie Woolis, aged 14, whose winning Sunflower grew to a whopping seven and a half foot tall!

The competition began as an idea by Children First Derby Fundraising Volunteer, Sandra Harrison, as a way of helping to raise funds for the charity during lockdown.

Sunflower kits were prepared by Sandra and sold to our team of volunteers and staff, and their friends and family, with a prize promised to whoever could grow the largest sunflower.

And today, we enjoyed a fantastic presentation at Swarkestone Nursery and Garden Centre, celebrating our Sunflower competition winner.

We’d like to say a heartfelt Thank You to Swarkestone Nursery for their support throughout this initiative; kindly donating over 85 pots for us to plant the sunflower seeds in initially, hosting our presentation event today and also for generously donating two luxurious planters as a winning prize. Your support is very much appreciated.

We’d also like to say a BIG Thank You to Andy Twigge (Twiggy) BBC Radio Derby Breakfast presenter, who announced Sophie as our winner and presented her with the prize.

Twiggy went on to draw our raffle, kindly organised by some of our Fundraising Volunteers, and also interviewed Sophie and her Mum, finding out more about Sophie’s sunflower growing antics and how she had been competing with her family members who had also been involved in the competition.

We look forward to hearing the interview on Radio Derby’s Breakfast Show early next week.

Special thanks also to our fundraising volunteer, Sandra Harrison, who worked tirelessly to make up all the sunflower kits and organised today’s event. Sandra was also on hand today, along with some of our other fabulous fundraising volunteers, to help run the raffle and support the presentation.

With over 85 sunflowers having been purchased and grown, the competition raised over £400 for the charity, helping us to support children, young people and families across Derbyshire.

Well done to everyone who has been involved.