A DOG trainer in Warwick has taken the fundraising lead to help bring some festive spirit to hospitalised children this Christmas – despite the pandemic.
Andy O’Brien, who runs The K9 Club, has joined forces with Molly Olly’s Wishes – even pledging to dye his hair pink – the colour of the charity – if they hit the £2,000 target.
Andy said: “We want to give children the best Christmas ever after this crazy year. We are trying to raise as much as we can to buy toys and wrap them up for the children stuck in hospitals over Christmas.
“We know times are hard at the moment and any amount will help to make a child’s Christmas that little bit better. Our Hatton Park neighbours, Molly Olly’s Wishes, do an amazing job and we are so happy to be teaming up with them.”
The charity was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
It works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.
Molly Olly’s mascot is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.
Part of more than £2.5m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s are so lucky to be surrounded by a great community and Andy and his team are very much a part of that.
“Molly Olly’s were approached by our local community nursing team to see if we could help organise gifts for seriously ill children as the normal Christmas party run by the nurses is unable to go ahead this year. The charity is putting together gift boxes which Andy heard about and wanted to help by contributing toys.
“A variety of items will be put together to make a special gift box and delivered to families in December. Big thanks to Andy and all those that have supported him to help us bring some smiles in these challenging times.”
She added: “Thanks to the following companies for their support – Kilby Packaging, West Mercia, Bayliss and Harding, SCC, K9, New Horizon Logistics and to all the Molly Olly Volunteers for helping to wrap and deliver all the gifts.”
The gifts will be delivered to families by community nurses mid-December. To donate to the crowdfunding page visit: Crowdfunding to to buy Christmas presents for children with Molly Olly’s Wishes on JustGiving
Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk
Molly Olly’s Wishes need the support of companies and individuals to enable us to help more children. We welcome the opportunity to provide more information about our work. Please help us to make those dark days brighter. For details contact Rachel on 07747 854914.