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

Copper NHS Bench Auction

Unique NHS bench goes under the hammer for Warwick children’s charity

A one-of-a-kind copper bench is being auctioned off to raise funds for a Warwick charity for children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses thanks to the generosity of a Solihull couple.

The bench, which bears the topical message: ‘2020 Love NHS’ was crafted by plumbing firm Rudkin & Herbert in Leicester and bought for £2,000 by Simon and Lorraine Cave, from Solihull.

The couple donated the proceeds to Leicester’s Loros Hospice and Cancer Research before then regifting the bench to Molly Olly’s Wishes, a charity which was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer. The donation will come at a critical time for Molly Olly’s which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is forecast to lose around £250k in fundraising this year.

Simon Cave said he became familiar with the charity after moving to Solihull with his wife Lorraine more than 20 years ago. He said: “I wanted to donate some money to Loros but I’ve been involved in some of Molly Olly’s fundraising events for a few years now and I think it is a great cause that’s long been close to our hearts. We’re also aware how much charities are suffering at the moment.”

Oakland International of Redditch were announced as the successful highest bidder on June 15th, the ninth anniversary of Molly’s death.

Ian Herbert, director of Rudkin & Herbert, where a heating engineer spent a day making the bench from copper piping, said: “We felt this was the least we could do and wanted to show our appreciation for what the NHS are doing under the current circumstances. Also, my daughter has recently become an ambulance driver so it is very close to home.

But he added: “It’s not just the NHS that need our help and donations, there are hundreds of smaller worthwhile charities in our communities that need our help and donations now. Every donation helps, whether big or small.”

The charity’s founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s Wishes are very grateful to the team at Rudkin and Herbert and Simon and Lorraine Cave for donating this unique bench to the charity to help raise funds, and to Oakland International for successfully bidding for it. It is certainly a piece that is symbolic of these extraordinary times and recognises the amazing work of the NHS.

July 1, 2020 at 9:14 am | News | No comment

Molly Olly’s Wishes Mad Hatters Hat Ball

Hats off to a fantastic night of fundraising

HATS were stealing the ‘headlines’ at a charity ball where more than £65,000 was raised for Molly Olly’s Wishes.

A marquee at Billesley Manor near Alcester in Warwickshire was decked out in a Mad Hatter’s theme for the 9th annual Molly Olly Ball. Sporting wacky headgear, more than 500 guests were greeted by playing cards and led through a topiary garden by The Queen of Hearts and a rabbit to begin a magical evening of entertainment and fundraising. The line up included magicians, illuminated dancers gliding on hoverboards and pixel poi jugglers courtesy of Feeding The Fish. Music was provided by The Soul Brothers followed by DJ James and Elias on percussion.

The evening featured a variety of fundraising activities including charity auction when prizes such as a Portugal holiday, diamond necklace and signed Aston Villa shirt were bid on. And it was all presided over by The Mad Hatter himself – alias Molly’s dad Tim Ollerenshaw.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “It was an amazing night that would not be possible without the help and support of so many companies and individuals, who sponsored, gave time, prizes and all manner of the things to ensure as much money was raised as possible to help support children with life-threatening illnesses.

“Our guests were very respectful and took time to listen to our story and really understand the importance of our work. Through everyone’s generosity the charity night raised over £65,000. Thank you so much to everyone involved and all our sponsors and supporters including REPL Group, SCC, Fews Marquees, New Horizon Logistics, Morgan Parkes Recruitment and Viva Theatre Arts.”

Jo Reeves, Director of Sales at Billesley Manor, said: “We are delighted to have been able to host this year’s ball. The amount of money is just incredible to be able to help even more children. We hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as we did.”

January 23, 2020 at 2:01 pm | News | No comment

Steve’s Atlantic Challenge

Massive congratulations to Steve Sidaway, a retired police inspector from Hatton Park, for safely returning home after spending six weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean competing in the Talisker Whisky Challenge, dubbed ‘the world’s toughest row.’ Steve was one of four people to break the world record by crossing the finishing line in eighth place with his mixed crew in a race between La Gomera in the Canary Islands and Antigua. In doing so, Steve has raised more than £4,000 for Molly Olly’s Wishes – in all respects a fantastic achievement.

The 51-year-old was a late-comer to Team Tyne after replacing another crew member. They set off on their 3,000-mile crossing on December 12th, arriving safely in Antigua’s English Harbour last Friday 25th January. Steve, who has been a member of Warwick Rowing Club for three years, said the mental preparation was as important as physical training for this challenge.

“It’s mainly about getting your head right so you’re able to endure this huge mental challenge as an individual and as a team and keep going. We didn’t know each other very well so talked beforehand about the kind of things that could have been a challenge for us all being stuck together in a tiny box for 42 days. That was one of the hardest things,” he said.

This year’s Talisker Whisky Challenge saw 88 rowers compete on 28 boats in a combination of singles, pairs, trios, fours and fives, supported by two safety yachts travelling alongside them.

Steve said: “Our crossing was tough on a level of toughness I didn’t know existed. Our bodies were tested physically to their limits, with the repetition of two-hour rowing shifts and two-hour rests throughout the entirety of the crossing. The level of malnutrition, sleep deprivation and fatigue combined to make for a really punishing environment. The two-hour rest periods are taken up with looking after your body, eating, drinking, doing some jobs on the boat and trying to get some sleep. We were sleep walking, we were hallucinating and you were completely reliant on the person who was already out there on their shift to take control and look after you when that happened. We experienced a very hairy moment early on when two big waves came together and their combined power put the boat literally up on its end and a big wave of water came over the boat – but we had otherwise calm seas all the way across which isn’t what we wanted actually. We wanted waves because they make us go faster.”

The crossing took place over Christmas because the months of December to March bring the least chance of major storms, but it did mean Christmas away from his family. Steve said: “We exchanged Secret Santa presents on the boat and we had one bottle of alcohol but when it came to it nobody wanted it. Christmas Eve was nice actually because we were stuck due to some headwinds and the boat wasn’t going anywhere so we went for a swim 1,000 miles from shore two and a half thousand miles deep. It was quite surreal but it was a lovely moment. “

No matter how tough the challenges, Steve never lost sight of why he was out there and carried a photograph of Molly Ollerenshaw and an Olly the Brave toy in his cabin. “If ocean rowing does one thing it allows a very clear sense of a brutally honest perspective on life. This was a challenge of choice. In my cabin on the boat I carried a picture of a very special little girl – Molly who, with her family, faced a challenge that was most definitely not of anyone’s choosing. As I ticked off each day I only had to look at Molly’s picture to find the perspective I needed. Although I did nearly set fire to Olly the Brace with a hand flare at one point!”

“I love the fact that the charity makes sure that every single penny and every single donation is used wisely. The impact they’ve had on families who are facing horrible health conditions is making a real difference.”

Steve, who retired from Warwickshire Police four years ago, was welcomed over the finish line into Antigua by his son Adam and stepdaughter Jess last Friday. He described that moment: “We experienced a level of euphoria that was simply off any scale you might imagine. Horns were blasted from the super yachts moored there, hand flares lit up the early evening sky and we saw our friends and family for the first time. Being showered in champagne and given such an enthusiastic welcome was so much to absorb at the time and even now feels surreal.”

But after the euphoria had died down, what was he most looking forward to? “I was craving cold water. We had been drinking luke warm water for six weeks – and then a cold beer and a shower!”

January 29, 2019 at 4:06 pm | News | No comment

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