New Christmas Craft Fair will help two Warwick charities

Left to right: The Gap Director Marcos Campos, craft fair organiser Emma Joyce Smith, Molly Ollys Co-Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw, and The Gap General Administration Manger Mandy Burford get ready for the charity Christmas craft fair at The Gap Community Centre.

Local residents are being invited to buy a Christmas present with heart this Christmas at a new charity craft fair. A local community centre and a Woodloes resident are banding together to put on the fair to raise money for two Warwick charities, helping terminally ill kids, and people needing company to avoid ill health due to loneliness.

Being held at The Gap Community Centre close to the Chantry Shops on Spinney Hill in Warwick on Saturday 2nd December from 1.30 to 4.30 pm, proceeds from the fair will go to Molly Ollys and The Gap Charity. There will be 18 stalls with an exciting variety of handmade Christmas gifts by local crafters, plus seasonal refreshments, and a raffle with great prizes donated by local businesses.

The event is the brainchild of Emma Joyce Smith, who organises annual charity craft fairs as a way to give back to the community, and this year she is working in collaboration with The Gap.

Moved by the story of Molly Ollys founders Tim and Rachel Ollerenshaw, who set up the charity for children with life threatening illnesses following the sad death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly, Emma decided to fundraise for their cause. She is also helping people of all ages avoid ill health due to lack of company and loneliness, which can be as debilitating as smoking and obesity, by fundraising for community togetherness activities run by The Gap Charity.

Emma said: “I’ve been putting on craft fairs for the last ten years as it’s a hobby and I love organising them. In the past I’ve fundraised for national charities, but this year it’s been fantastic to work alongside two local charities who both do amazing work in the community.

“I’m really excited about the stalls we’ve got lined up, there’s everything from homemade jams and chutneys to Christmas gnomes, wooden gifts, jewellery, and samosas! Thanks also to all the amazing local businesses who’ve generously donated fabulous raffle prizes including vouchers, hampers, and event tickets.”

For the past few months, two over 60’s social groups at The Gap community centre, also the venue for the craft fair, have been making things to sell. The Knit ‘n’ Natter craft group has been making cosy, warm knitted bobble hats, perfect for the chilly winter weather, and the Live Life wellbeing group has been making lavender bags, Christmas crackers, calendars and more.

The Gap’s General Administration Manager Mandy Burford said: “It’s been great fun working with Emma and we can’t wait to host the fair on the first Saturday in December. Many people don’t realise The Gap’s a charity working to bring people together at the community centre to help end loneliness, and social and financial isolation in Warwick, and we’re independently funded. It’s a great fundraising initiative by Emma and we’re so pleased to support her as well as helping Molly Ollys, another brilliant Warwick charity. Please put the date in your diary and spread the word. It’s all for a good cause.”

Molly’s Mum and the charity’s Co-Founder, Rachel Ollerenshaw, said: “This craft fair is a great way to raise awareness that Molly Ollys is here for local and UK families who may be coping with a child aged 0-18 years who has a life-threatening illness. We share our story about our daughter Molly’s cancer battle to show people we understand and we’re here to help. Molly Ollys grants wishes, helps with cost-of-living support, provides Olly the Brave Lion cuddly toys, books for children and young siblings about being in hospital, and more.”

The craft fair will take place at The Gap community centre at 39 Oakwood Grove, CV34 5TD, across the green from the Chantry shops, and easily accessible on the number 1 bus route. For more information about the fair and activities at The Gap community centre contact Mandy on 01926 494200 or visit www.thegapwarwick.org. For more information about Molly Ollys visit www.mollyolly.co.uk.  

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