FUN and fundraising were the order of the day at Hatton Park in Warwick on Sunday.
The community event, rescheduled from earlier in the summer due to Covid-19, has been hailed a huge success by the organisers who have raised more than £1,200 for two charities – Molly Olly’s Wishes and Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Service.
The Fun Day consisted of stalls, BBQ, bar, live music, WI Bake Off and competitive events and was the brainchild of local resident Jane Robbins who enlisted the help of friends and neighbours.
Jane, who runs an events business JR Promotions, said: “The idea came to me one day during one of my lockdown walks around the estate. Bored with the complete lack of events work, I thought wouldn’t it be nice, when restrictions are lifted, for residents, rather than just nodding and saying hello as the passed, to have an opportunity to socialise properly with their neighbours.
“We’re so glad we put out requests on social media for the extra pairs of hands to help on the stalls and the bar as we had over 400 people, of all ages, popping in throughout the day. It really did have a very friendly, happy feel and we were really pleased with how it all went and the support we received.”
Molly Olly’s Wishes was established by Hatton Park’s Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
The 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 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 six-part series.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the charity which, last October, moved into its first dedicated town centre premises, in Warwick – the month in which Molly would have turned 18.
Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk
Rachel, who also ran a charity stall, said: “Community has been so important during the pandemic and it was lovely to finally be able to have a Hatton park Fun Day and give everyone the opportunity to meet up.
“It was a good opportunity to raise awareness and funds. The weather was kind and everyone who joined us had a fun day and there was something for all ages. A big thankyou to the organisers.
“Molly Olly’s are feeling the effects of the pandemic more this year than last year and donations are down considerably (approximately 30%) at a time when we have seen a large increase (almost 20%) in the requests for support. The charity has received over 370 wishes over the past year and relies on the support of businesses and individuals to ensure we can continue our services.
“We work closely with the local community nursing teams and together we can help make a very real difference at extremely challenging times. Help can be provided in many different ways and we encourage you to come and meet us and find out more about our work and how you can help support children with life threatening illnesses.”
Half of the proceeds will also benefit the Hatton Park WI-nominated charity Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Service which provides county-wide support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence.
It is a branch of Refuge – the country’s largest provider of specialist support – also offering refuge accommodation, independent domestic violence advocacy, outreach support and drop-in services.
Lynda Jackson, of Hatton Park WI, said: “We chose this charity to benefit after a number of us went and saw a play a few years ago that focused on the ill treatment of women, so it’s close to our hearts.”
For further information visit: https://www.refuge.org.uk/our-work/our-services/refuge-warwickshire-domestic-violence-service/