Unique NHS bench goes under the hammer for 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 from copper piping by plumbing firm Rudkin & Herbert in Leicester and bought for £2,000 by Simon and Lorraine Cave, from Solihull.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Rudkin & Herbert, COVID-19, NHS, plumbers, fundraising

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 Hatton-based charity 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.

Mascot of Molly Olly’s Wishes 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.

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.”

Molly Olly's Wishes, COVID-19, copper bench, fundraising
Ian Herbert of Rudkin & Herbert with the bench and, inset, Simon and Lorraine Cave.

Bids can be placed on the bench by texting BID to 07747 854914 with the amount, your name and preferred form of contact. (Delivery to UK address only.) The successful highest bidder will be announced on June 15th, which marks 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.”

Molly Olly's Wishes
Rachel Ollerenshaw

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. It is certainly a piece that is symbolic of these extraordinary times and recognises the amazing work of the NHS.

“We hope to get lots of interest and the highest bidder will be the new owner and in the process will have helped make a difference to the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. “

Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk

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