Olly The Brave Christmas Treasure Trail in Warwick

Wondering how to entertain the children throughout December?  Well look no further – we want to spread a little bit of Christmas cheer and magic and so invite you and your little ones to take part in our Olly The Brave Christmas Treasure Trail.  The Trail will take place around Warwick Town Centre from Friday 4th December until Tuesday 29th December.  Your job is to find all the cuddly lion Ollys who will be sitting in various shop or business windows and will be dressed up for Christmas. Each will have a letter of the alphabet which you need to collect to make a word – correct entries will be entered into a draw to win a giant Olly The Brave. You can get involved over as many days as you like. You do not need to enter the shops or offices to find Olly.

The Treasure trail is FREE but if you would like to donate to our charity, we would be extremely grateful.  As you can imagine this year has been extremely difficult for us, as our fundraising has significantly reduced but we are seeing a massive increase in wishes and children requiring Olly The Brave therapeutic lions and books to help explain their journey. All the children that we help have life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.  Anything you can give to help Olly The Brave and Molly Olly’s Wishes support these children and their families through their darkest days would be extremely gratefully received.

Downloadthe Treasure Trail entry form and instructions – and if you would like to donate please click here.

December 2, 2020 at 9:26 am | News | No comment

Why your help matters

Be brave, watch this film and understand why it matters.

The team at Molly Olly’s are very grateful for all the support we receive, but more importantly so are the children and families that we help. But don’t just take our word for it – here is a wish we made come true at Christmas last year for a very special boy and his beautiful family. It was so important to them as it was to be Rhys’s last Christmas. This was filmed the month before, sadly, Rhys died.

November 23, 2020 at 11:08 am | News | No comment

****Auction****

21st November was the proposed date for the Annual Molly Olly Ball – obviously this could not take place but we are running our usual Auction online instead. We have 21 different items, from much sort after Jack Grealish signed shirts kindly donated by Jack’s parents, to overnight stays at some stunning hotels, meals at the renowned Lovely Pubs restaurants, a beautiful diamond pendant and “essentials” for Christmas. So please visit our auction here and if you are able to, place a bid and help us continue our work supporting children with life threatening illnesses across the UK. The auction closes at 10pm on Monday 30th November 2020.

November 23, 2020 at 10:53 am | News | No comment

Christmas Day Virtual Balloon Race

Be in with a chance to win £500! See how far you can you get your personally designed balloon to fly by choosing the shape, thickness, colour and design of your virtual balloon and track its flight when it’s released from Santa’s Village in Lapland on Christmas Day.
For just £3 a go, you could be in with a shot of winning £500 cash or an Apple iPad, or 10 prizes of £10 book tokens for runners up. To join in go to Christmas Balloon , buy a balloon or a code to give to someone else – a great stocking filler and way to keep the whole family entertained. The event is being run by Redditch Kingfisher and Knowle and Dorridge Rotary Clubs, with proceeds being divided equally between Molly Olly’s Wishes and Redditch Kingfisher Public Access Defibrillator Project.

November 23, 2020 at 10:09 am | News | No comment

Christmas Shopping? Help seriously ill children at the same time!

You can easily help us help seriously ill children whilst doing your Christmas Shopping!

If you are buying from Amazon, shop through smile.amazon.co.uk and choose Molly Olly’s Wishes as your charity, and Amazon will make a donation to us for each purchase you make. You can set up your account to do this every time you buy from Amazon, but you must use the smile.amazon.co.uk route into the website, instead of logging directly into amazon.co.uk.

Or shop through Give as you Live, which provides charitable donations to your chosen charity for purchases at over 4000 stores including John Lewis, Boots, Amazon, Lastminute.com and many more. Go to Give as you Live, set up an account, and chose Molly Olly’s Wishes as your charity. You then go to the shop you want to buy from through the Give as you Live website, and Molly Olly’s will receive a percentage of your purchase value as a donation.

November 9, 2020 at 10:55 am | News | No comment

Molly Olly’s Christmas Raffle

Take part in the Molly Olly’s Christmas Raffle for your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes. A diamond star necklace, £500 cash or a case of wine and help us support children with life threatening illnesses. Enter here

£5 per ticket 

1st Prize – A diamond star necklace RRP £1,250

2nd Prize – £500 cash

3rd Prize – A case of fizz and two magnums of wine

T&C’s *Please note in order to participate you must ensure that you put your full name and tick the box agreeing to be contacted by Molly Olly’s Wishes and Rachel Ollerenshaw. The details you provide will be for the purpose of the raffle only. We will not add you to our mailing list unless you ask us to. You must be aged 18 or over to participate and a UK resident. Maximum number of tickets available is 4000. The raffle will close at midnight on Saturday 12th December and winners will be notified on Monday 14th December. If you have any questions or want to provide your details direct please email rachel@mollyolly.co.uk. WE MUST HAVE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS TO ENTER YOU IN THE RAFFLE. Please note that all tickets are virtual. 

November 9, 2020 at 10:33 am | News | No comment

Olly The Brave Books 4 to 6

They help answer those difficult questions that children ask!

Molly Olly’s Wishes has published books 4 to 6 in the series about Olly the Brave. They follow the final three chapters in Olly’s journey with illness and palliative care, as well as exploring emotions around bereavement.

These books are donated free of charge to hospitals across the country and to children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.  More information is available on our Olly The Brave page.

November 6, 2020 at 7:59 pm | News | No comment

Mums keep the candle burning for Halloween fundraising

A Warwick community renowned for its flamboyant annual Halloween celebrations is keeping the tradition alive despite the pandemic. Innovative parents Charlotte Fawbert and Lucy Field were determined to salvage the spooky fun which draws hundreds of children on Hatton Park – by this year turning it into a COVID-safe pumpkin trail.

Children are being encouraged to download a trail sheet and, between Thursday and Sunday, hunt for 12 Halloween-themed pictures displayed in windows throughout the estate.

Local families are then being invited to donate money they would have otherwise spent on sweets for trick and treaters, to Hatton Park-based charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.

Mum of two, Charlotte said: “Hatton Park has a reputation for creating a fantastic atmosphere at Halloween and I didn’t want the children on the estate to miss out due to COVID restrictions, so Lucy and I came up with some safe and fun ideas that we could still do.  And when another mum, Emily Burgess suggested we do it in aid of Molly Olly’s Wishes, we thought was a great idea. Our hope is that many people will support this amazing charity while the children are still able to enjoy themselves this Halloween.”

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Halloween on Hatton Park has always been a family time, my children always loved it and often their friends wanted to come to here for Halloween as the residents always seem to do it so well. The fun of dressing up, silly games and trick or treating.  We have lots of happy family memories. Halloween fell not long after Molly, aged four, had her first major operation to remove her kidney. She had a big scar the width of her stomach, her hair was falling out from the chemotherapy, and despite not feeling great, she wanted to join in and would joke with us about trick or treat, her trick being that she would scare you with her scar!

She added: “So many residents of Hatton Park have been a great support to the charity. It is a shame that it can’t quite be the same for the children this year but the ideas that some of the parents have come up with will mean it is still lots of fun. Olly The Brave will be joining in too so the children will have to see if they can spot him on their trail.”

Trail sheets can be obtained from the Hatton Park Locals Facebook forum or by emailing Lucy Field at: Lucyfield2017@gmail.com

Donations, in lieu of sweets, can be made to Molly Olly’s Wishes at: www.mollyolly.co.uk

October 26, 2020 at 5:08 pm | News | No comment

Molly Olly’s Wishes Face Masks

Facing up to the cause

Exclusive customised masks are available to buy for £7.50 from Molly Olly’s Wishes. Every mask bought supports children with terminal and life-limiting illness and their families.

Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Like so many other charities, businesses and organisations the pandemic has been tough for Molly Olly’s. Fundraising has been hit hard and making sure we keep the Charity in people’s minds is important. The Molly Olly masks are a simple way to help raise both funds and awareness.

“We have sent masks as far afield as Blackpool and Cardiff so far. Please help Molly Olly’s to support children with life-threatening illnesses.”

The washable cotton masks are produced by Henley Printing and are priced at £7.50. They are comfortable to wear and are adjustable to ensure a good fit. Orders can be taken via rachel@mollyolly.co.uk

October 23, 2020 at 2:16 pm | News | No comment

Molly Olly’s Wishes New Home!

New premises unlocks latest exciting chapter for Warwick children’s charity

When Rachel Ollerenshaw collected the keys for a town centre office building, it unlocked a whole new chapter for her charity. The premises, the first dedicated HQ for Molly Olly’s Wishes, has opened its doors in Warwickshire just weeks before Rachel’s late daughter – and inspiration behind the charity – would have turned 18. (October 8th)

Molly died in June 2011 after a five-year battle with a rare kidney cancer. And what followed, in Molly’s memory, has resulted in support for thousands of children around the country with terminal or life-limiting illnesses.

Rachel and husband Tim, from Warwick, spent a large part of those five years in and out of hospital and soon realised that many of the patients they met did not benefit from the emotional or financial support that they had received for Molly and her siblings.

Driven by this – and a determination to keep Molly’s legacy alive -Molly Olly’s Wishes was officially born in September 2011.

Having gained its charity status in 2012, the Charity has so far raised more than £2.5m and helped more than 15,000 children across the country, from new-born to age 18 by granting individual wishes.

Molly Olly’s Wishes has signed an initial two-year lease on the new office space, thanks to the support by Oakland International, which has a site in Redditch. The charity has also been helped with legal advice from Warwick solicitors Moore & Tibbetts.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “It’s a really big moment for the Charity to get this space. The focus has always been on keeping costs to a minimum to ensure  that, as much money as possible goes to the children we help. As we’ve grown as a charity it’s been harder to work from home and have space for the volunteers, so getting an office has been vital to the long term strategy and vision of the charity.

“Warwick is a hugely significant town for us. It is our local town and where many retailers and people know us and to have a presence in the town is important. Because we have been based at my house and haven’t had a big sign outside a lot of people don’t know we exist, so to get that high street presence will help awareness.”

And Rachel is confident Molly would also approve.

“I think that Molly would like it. For me the space has a heart. Having worked at home for so long and the Charity being so personal, having a space that felt that it was professional but wasn’t too corporate was important.

“That’s why I love Warwick and the new office, because it feels personal and friendly and it has that heart to it.”

It comes at a crucial time for the small charity which, like many others, is feeling the impact of COVID-19. It is forecast more than £250,000 in proceeds may be lost to their coffers with fundraising events wiped from the calendar, including the charity’s biggest event of the year, the Molly Olly Ball, in November.

Rachel said: “Fundraising prior to lockdown had been on track and the reserves that the charity had has enabled us to continue our work, but this is not sustainable long term. The past six months has seen donations drop by over 40%, a trend which, if it continues, will see a significant reduction in the number of wishes we can provide to children with life threatening illnesses. The ball alone would have generated around £60,000 for us.

“For the events that we plan now we have to be prepared for things changing very quickly so have to think carefully about how we organise them. We are looking at fundraising that people can do individually where we haven’t got huge outlays such as golf days or cycling events or online raffles.

“What would really help us is if people would sign up to a monthly donation. If the people who usually come to our events and spend £85 on ball tickets, for instance, could maybe commit to spending £5 or more a month and donate regularly, that would make a huge difference to us.”

Lockdown has also added immense emotional and financial pressure on many of the families being supported by Molly Olly’s which, despite diminishing funds, is working hard to continue granting wishes – although the nature of the requests has shifted from days out and experiences to gifts and equipment for bedrooms and gardens.

Rachel said: “But we have also worked with families where both parents have been made redundant a lot of the requests we receive are for necessities. For those struggling financially wishes can be for items such as a bed for sick child or supermarket vouchers to help buy food.”

“The families are scared and anxious and it has put more pressure on them and the health professionals and a lot of the organisations we work with have had to work virtually so we’ve seen big changes in how our families are supported.”

The new premises will help futureproof the work of the Molly Olly’s team as they continue to navigate their way through a climate of huge uncertainty and ever-changing COVID legislation.

Rachel said: “We talked about doing this before the virus was even heard of. It was a worry with what has happened but actually it’s proven to be really important that we had office space which has given us an opportunity and a way forward so we can work safely.

“The team really like it and it’s great for them to have space to work properly rather than being cramped on my kitchen table or squeezed into my office at home. This way they can work more smartly and efficiently,” she said.

“This space makes us more accessible to people who can knock the door and come in and ask us what we do and that’s really important. People were probably afraid to knock on my front door at home.”

As Rachel does her best to plan the unknown road ahead, there is no time to really take stock and celebrate the latest milestone.

“This is a real milestone but it’s a journey we’ve all done together” she said. “If ever you have any moments of doubt, you then receive a phone call and you know why you’re here and it takes you right back to where we were and why it all started. Yes, we’re proud but the key thing is we want to carry on doing it and continue to grow and help as many families as possible.”

October 23, 2020 at 9:28 am | News | No comment

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