Children’s charity golf day raises more than £26k

Children’s charity golf day raises more than £26k

A golf day organised in aid of Warwickshire children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes, which supports children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses, has raised an incredible £26,252.

Jointly organised and sponsored by Nottingham companies, Oakland International (which also has a site in Redditch) and Avanti Print and Packaging, 17-teams from across England, Scotland and Wales took part despite the challenging weather to compete for golf titles including Beat the Pro, Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Oakland International, golf
One of the teams made up of, from left, Jacob Fenwick, Ben Ollerenshaw, Henry Silk and Will Neal.

The event took place at the Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club and was followed by an evening auction and raffle of items donated by suppliers and supporters of the charity.

Molly Olly’s grants wishes, helps with emotional support and donates therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK. It grants around 40 wishes per month, an increase of 100% during lockdown, and at a time when funding has significantly reduced.

Charity co-founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said; “The golf day and auction were a huge success. We are extremely grateful to Jane, Lee, Paul and Holly at Oakland and Avanti for organising such a great day and helping to widen the reach of the charity with introductions to a new audience. All the golfers were very generous and big thanks to all the sponsors. Molly Olly’s has seen a sharp rise in the number of requests for support and the funds raised are much needed to enable us to fulfil those wishes which help to put a smile on poorly children’s faces.”

Molly Olly's Wishes, Oakland International, golf, charity

Oakland’s Chief Operating Officer Lee Whiting commented: “Molly Olly’s Wishes is an amazing charity which supports so many ill children throughout the UK. We would like to thank everyone who joined us and supported this, our first ever joint event of this nature, which we are now going to make into an annual event, setting our fundraising target even higher next year!”

Like so many other charities Molly Olly’s Wishes has found it difficult to fundraise over the last year due to the pandemic. An average wish costs around £500 and can range from a family day trip to a computer game to supermarket food vouchers.

To find out all the ways you can donate to Molly Olly’s Wishes, please visit here

Molly Olly's Wishes, Oakland International, golf, charity

Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw
Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw with the familiar Molly Olly’s pink van.

ABOUT MOLLY OLLY’S WISHES:

 Molly Olly’s Wishes was set up following the experiences of Molly over the five years she received treatment for kidney cancer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Throughout the 10 years that the charity has been running, it has:-

  • granted more than 2,100 wishes
  • supported more than 15,000 children
  • distributed more than 12,000 Olly The Brave books to more than 70 hospitals
  • raised more than £3 million

Between 2017 and 2020, the charity funded Birmingham’s first paediatric palliative consultant as there was no such consultant for the region. That position has now become permanent and is currently funded through the NHS.

The charity works alongside the NHS to support projects within the hospitals and the community. One key project was the creation and refurbishment of Magnolia House at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This is a safe and non-clinical space where medical teams and families can have important discussions.

Emotional messages take to the skies to mark release of charity record

Emotional messages take to the skies to mark release of charity record

RELATIVES grieving the loss of a loved one were among those gathered for the poignant launch of a charity single by Coventry’s MOBO Award-nominated musician Sandra Godley.

My Darling, Sandra Godley, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire MIND, balloons release
Releasing the balloons in memory of lost loved ones at The Telegraph Hotel Rooftop Bar..

National Grief Awareness Day on Monday (August 30th) marked the release of My Darling which is raising funds and awareness for three local charities in the wake of the pandemic – Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly’s Wishes and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind.

In collaboration with Surviving Bereavement Founder Tracey McAtamney from Balsall Common, the event included a minute’s silence and the release of 100 white balloons bearing emotional messages, from the roof of The Telegraph Hotel in Coventry.

My Darling, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons launch
Musicians Sandra Godley and Roy Hemmings.
My Darling, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons launch
Jessica Weeks with daughter Hannah.

Specially invited guests included Roy Hemmings, formerly of The Drifters, who lost his brother Neville in April last year. My Darling will be played at a memorial for Neville in Birmingham tomorrow. (Friday Sept 10th)

Also releasing a balloon, in memory of her daughter Emelia, was Jessica Weeks and her family, from Coventry. Emelia’s died in 2017 less than one hour after being born with spina bifida and anencephaly. Jessica went on to establish Hannah’s House, a charity which provides support after the loss of a sibling to neonatal death, miscarriage and stillbirth. (See accompanying Case Study here)

My Darling is a particularly heartfelt piece of work for the Bristol-born musician, Sandra, who is still grieving the loss of her own aunt to the virus in April last year.

She said following the launch: “I am delighted that the song ‘My Darling’ is now finally released. I’ve been carrying the words of the song for over a year now.

“It was such an incredible time to be amongst friends and family on a very special day, Grief Awareness Day. Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen. Special thanks to Matt Cossey for producing the track. I now want to encourage everyone to give what they can to the fundraising page to help spread the message of hope and I know the three charities involved will be very grateful for all donations received.”

Those who would like to donate more can now also visit a new fundraising page here

And My Darling is available to download for 79p from any of these outlets

Tracey McAtamney said: “The launch of My Darling and release of the biodegradable memory balloons could not have gone better despite it being a bank holiday Monday – people came out to remember their loved ones. It felt very personal, moving and heartfelt, especially during the one-minute silence, a time for reflection before the balloon release.

“The song is beautiful and I know is touching many. We are hoping that people will continue to download the song for just 79p or donate to the JustGiving page. All monies raised will be in support of those struggling with grief.”

With four successful albums and a clutch of awards to her name, Sandra’s proudest musical career highlights include singing in The House of Commons as well as creating and performing The Big Love Song as a wedding gift for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, joined by a choir of mental health ambassadors on BBC’s The One Show, in 2018.

My Darling, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons launch

My Darling marks a departure from Sandra’s usual soul and gospel style, instead following more contemporary musical influences to appeal to a wider audience impacted by Covid or otherwise-related loss.

The single’s producer Matt Cossey said: “Coming off the back of a global pandemic, this track has been really meaningful to work on, but also a real privilege. Trying to simultaneously capture the sound of grief and hope was a particularly interesting and poignant challenge, but I think we have managed it! I hope the track raises a lot of profits and awareness for the charities.”

Through the work of The Surviving Bereavement Foundation, Tracey McAtamney has helped many others through their journey with grief by offering legal and financial advice as well as practical and emotional support.

Tracey, from Balsall Common, established the Foundation 16 years after herself being widowed with two sons at the age of just 38. Her husband Tony had died suddenly in his hotel room while on a golfing holiday in Spain.

As part of the Foundation’s growth, she recently qualified as a Grief Recovery Specialist and the past year has also seen a huge rise in demand for her personalised Memory Boxes, which contain specially chosen items that celebrate the life of a lost loved one.

My Darling, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons launch
Sandra Godley and producer Matt Cossey in the recording studio.

The record, which has been produced by Matt Cossey of The Nexus Institute of Creative Arts in Coventry, is being funded by an anonymous sponsor and supported by Alsters Kelley Solicitors.

Some of the proceeds will also benefit Warwick-based charity Molly Olly’s Wishes and local mental health charity Coventry and Warwickshire Mind.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’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.

Mascot of the charity 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.

My Darling, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons launch
Tracey McAtamney, Sandra Godley and Molly Olly’s Wishes founder Rachel Ollerenshaw.

Rachel said: “The launch of My Darling was a very special and poignant day. It is a beautiful song and the emotion behind it really highlights the importance and significance of being aware of the challenges that grieving families face. Molly Olly’s are extremely grateful for the support and thank you to Sandra, Tracey and everyone who was involved for including Molly Olly’s in this project. Funds raised will help us to support families at the saddest of times.”

Local mental health charity, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind is part of the national Mind organisation – delivering services and support for people with mental health problems for over 50 years.

Recognising the importance of listening to, and working with, people who have experienced mental health issues, the charity aims to provide support for those who live with and recover from a mental health problem. This can mean providing access to information, a listening ear, or providing more specialist support and services.

Steven Hill, CEO Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, also attended the launch. He said: “It was a pleasure to be a part of the event for ‘My Darling’ – a poignant song about the loss faced by many of us over the past 18 months and highlighting its detrimental impact on our mental health.

“We’re honoured to be one of the charities chosen by Sandra Godley. The money raised will enable us to continue our work – ensuring that no-one faces a mental health problem on their own.”

Watch the music video for My Darling here

My Darling, Surviving Berevement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry & Warwickshire Mind, loss, balloons release

Contacting the charities:

Further information about Surviving Bereavement or how to donate can be found here

Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found here

Further information about Coventry and Warwickshire Mind or how to donate can be found here

For more information about Hannah’s House visit here Donations can be made here

Community gets behind ‘fun-draising’ day for charities

Community gets behind ‘fun-draising’ day for charities

Hatton Park Fun Day, Molly Olly's Wishes, Warwickshire Domestic Violence Servive
Some of the organising committee: Jane Robbins, Jolande Hancock, Lou Simpson, Stuart Kettell, Rachel Ollerenshaw, Jennie Long and Jason Sammon. Photo by Victoria Jane Photography.

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.

Hatton Park Fun Day, Molly Olly's Wishes, Warwickshire Domestic Violence Servive
Rachel Ollerenshaw on the Molly Olly’s Wishes stall. Photo by Victoria Jane Photography.

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.”

The WI Bake Off was a huge success. Photo by Victoria Jane Photography.

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.

Issy Foyle, 12, on her handmade jewellery stall. Photo by Victoria Jane Photography.
Molly Olly's Wishes, Molly Ollerenshaw
Molly Ollerenshaw a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

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.

Ivy Pielow, 5, and Arthur Pielow, 7, Livy Kettell, 6, Grace Kettell, 8. Photo by Victoria Jane Photography.

“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/

Livy and Grace Kettell at one the stalls. Photos by Victoria Jane Photography.
Charity song set to raise funds and awareness of loss

Charity song set to raise funds and awareness of loss

My Darling, Sandra Godley, Tracey McAtamney, Molly Olly's Wishes, Surviving Bereavement, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind

AN award-winning singer songwriter has released a new single close to her heart to raise funds and awareness for three charities in Coventry and Warwickshire.

My Darling is the exclusive new track written and recorded by MOBO-nominated musician Sandra Godley in aid of Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly’s Wishes and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind.

In collaboration with Surviving Bereavement Founder Tracey McAtamney, the project draws much-needed focus on the increasing mental health problems post-pandemic.

It is a particularly poignant piece or work for the Coventry musician and local BBC radio host, Sandra, who is still grieving the loss of her own aunt to Covid-19 in April last year.

She said: “This track is based on conversations that I’d had with people like Tracey and others who survived having lost people and having had a year out to think about that.

“Because I work in broadcasting people are telling me their stories of loss and grief and anguish all the time. I got to the point where I thought, what do I do with all this? This is a real situation and I need to help as many people as I can.

“I wrote the lyrics for this hoping it would offer some kind of comfort and a way of journeying these next few months and years. What I’ve found is that a lot of people haven’t been able to talk about it because they haven’t been able to physically go and see someone in the family during the grieving process.”

With four successful albums and a clutch of awards to her name, Sandra’s proudest musical career highlights include singing in The House of Commons as well as creating and performing The Big Love Song as a wedding gift for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, joined by a choir of mental health ambassadors on BBC’s The One Show, in 2018.

My Darling, Sandra Godley, Tracey McAtamney, Molly Olly's Wishes, Surviving Bereavement, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind
Sandra Godley in the recording studio as Tracey McAtamney looks on. Photo by Dy Holme

My Darling marks a departure from Sandra’s usual soul and gospel style, instead following more contemporary musical influences to appeal to a wider audience impacted by Covid or otherwise-related loss.

“I wanted this to be more modern in terms of the Billie Eilish, James Arthur and George Ezra-type sound. I was actually influenced by a lot young artists for this song when I usually tend to look backwards in time for a lot of my music. Most young people won’t have previously experienced the kind of trauma of the last 18 months and I thought these artists were writing some really inspirational stuff for this ‘now’ moment,” she said.

Through the work of The Surviving Bereavement Foundation, Tracey McAtamney has helped many others through their journey with grief by offering legal and financial advice as well as practical and emotional support.

My Darling, Sandra Godley, Tracey McAtamney, Surviving Bereavement, Molly Olly's Wishes, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind
Sandra Godley and producer Matt Cossey in the recording studio. Photo by Dy Holme

Tracey, from Balsall Common, established the Foundation 16 years after herself being widowed with two sons at the age of just 38. Her husband Tony had died suddenly in his hotel room while on a golfing holiday in Spain.

As part of the Foundation’s growth, she also recently qualified as a Grief Recovery Specialist, using an actioned evidenced-based programme for moving beyond death, divorce and other losses including health and career.

The past year has also seen a huge rise in demand for her personalised Memory Boxes, which contain specially chosen items that celebrate the life of a lost loved one.

She said: “During lockdown I delivered or posted 136 free Memory Boxes or Bags to children and young adults. I realised with us coming out of the pandemic we needed a way to reach more people. Music is that way – Sandra’s song is one of hope for all of those people grieving due to the loss of loved ones, many of which were unable to say goodbye.

“I am so grateful to Sandra for putting the words on paper and then adding her voice – it is beautiful. The track could have been written for me when my husband died and I was unable to say goodbye 16 years ago!”

There has been an increase in demand for memory boxes from the Surviving Bereavement Charity run by Tracey McAtamney.

“I am hoping that the song will provide hope for many and that by downloading it, will ensure that more children and young adults will continue to receive free Memory Boxes.”

The single, which has been produced by Matt Cossey of The Nexus Institute of Creative Arts in Coventry, is being funded by an anonymous sponsor and supported by Alsters Kelley solicitors and Coventry’s The Telegraph Hotel – the host of an official launch event on National Grief Awareness Day, on August 30th.

Some of the proceeds will also benefit Warwick-based charity Molly Olly’s Wishes and local mental health charity Coventry and Warwickshire Mind.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’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.

Mascot of the charity 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.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Rachel Ollerenshaw
Rachel Ollerenshaw, the Founder of Molly Olly’s Wishes with mascot Olly The Brave. The charity was established in her daughter’s name.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “The death of someone close to us is hard at any time but the restrictions and effects of the pandemic have made the grieving process all the more difficult.

“Raising awareness of the struggle and the enormity of loss and how it affects us all differently and providing support through these challenging times is so important.

“Molly Olly’s Wishes work with families who sadly have a child at end of life and help them to create memories and support their emotional wellbeing and we are extremely grateful to Sandra. It is a beautiful song and we hope it helps highlight the awareness of loss and the work of charities.”

Local mental health charity, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind is part of the national Mind organisation – delivering services and support for people with mental health problems for over 50 years.

Recognising the importance of listening to, and working with, people who have experienced mental health issues, the charity aims to provide support for those who live with and recover from a mental health problem. This can mean providing access to information, a listening ear, or providing more specialist support and services.

Steven Hill, Coventry and Warwickshire Mind CEO said: “During the lockdown we were all forced into periods of extended isolation – this was difficult enough for those of us with close family networks but for those of us living alone, this increased the sense of anxiety, of isolation, and of hopelessness.

“The impact of this isolation, added to the trauma of loss and bereavement experienced across Coventry and Warwickshire, has exaggerated mental health issues for many, leaving them desperate for support at a time of mental health crisis.”

My Darling is available now to download for 79p from any of the following outlets

 

Egg-straordinary effort to spread cheer this Easter

Egg-straordinary effort to spread cheer this Easter

A WARWICK charity is helping to bring some seasonal cheer to poorly children over the Easter period.

Molly Olly’s Wishes has been busy delivering more than 300 chocolate eggs and teddies to community nurses and volunteers at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust Community Children’s Nursing Team for distribution to children across the area.

The eggs haul comes courtesy of Warwickshire Freemasons and staff at international automotive manufacturing company Grupo Antolin, which has local sites in Warwick and Coventry.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Rachel Ollerenshaw, Warwickshire Freemasons, Easter eggs
Peter Hall and Rachel Ollerenshaw with Olly The Brave and eggs.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s 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 of the charity 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 very grateful to both Grupo Antolin and Peter Manning and the members of the Warwickshire Freemasons for all the eggs and teddies that they have very kindly donated. It gives us all a lot of pleasure to see the big smiles when the eggs are delivered.

“Simple gifts can lift children’s spirits when they are facing very challenging circumstances and it lets them know that people are thinking about them. This is an initiative that the charity have done for many years and both the nurses and families are very grateful to receive them.”

The Warwickshire Freemasons, which have presented a total of £150,000 to local charities throughout the pandemic, have now also donated more than 3,500 eggs to, among others, Acorns Hospice, Warwick Refuge, Shipston Food Bank, The Salvation Army and Coventry Haven.

Peter Manning, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, said: “Molly Olly’s a super local charity that does a tremendous amount of good and because they run it themselves and have very few overheads, you know that all the money goes where you want it to go.

“We would like to say a big thank you to Morrison’s Store at the Alvis Retail Park in Coventry who provided the eggs at a very special discounted rate and who are therefore helping to make a huge difference to these children.”

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