Comedy keeps fundraising close to home

Comedy keeps fundraising close to home

NEW Year spirits – and charity coffers – will be raised thanks to a comedy event coming to Hatton Park in Warwick.

Comedy at Work are bringing their latest gig to the estate’s community centre on Saturday, February 8th, in aid of a charity close to the community’s heart – Molly Olly’s Wishes.

Comedy at Work, Molly Olly's Wishes, Anne Docherty, Mark Hinds, Hatton Park
Elliot Powell and Rachel Ollerenshaw. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

Anne Docherty from Stratford-upon-Avon and Mark Hinds from Warwick are the creative minds behind Comedy at Work, an innovative new business that brings stand-up to venues across the country in support of local charities.

Helping to lay on the laughs this time around will be comedians Adam Beardsmore from Stratford, Matt Trimble from Worcester and Lovell Smith from Birmingham. While keeping the comedy flowing – as well as keeping it local – will be compere and Hatton Park resident, Elliot Powell.

It’s been a journey of self-discovery for the history graduate and long-time frustrated funnyman who previously worked as a Coconut Water salesman – and musician!

Elliot, 28, said: “One day I had the sudden realisation that I didn’t want to be the King of Coconuts and, much to my parents’ dismay, gave up my sales job in London and moved back home at Hatton.

“I realised pretty quickly that record labels would not be queuing up to sign us so, as I’d done a few gigs and a comedy course in London, I decided it was time to pick that back up again.

He added: I love the creative freedom of comedy. I really enjoy the process of taking the idea and working on it until it is in a form that will make people laugh – the same way a carpenter would take a piece of wood and turn it into a chair!

“The only downside of comedy is those nights when you test new material and it doesn’t work. The drive home is awful.”

Comedy at Work, Molly Olly's Wishes, Anne Docherty, Mark Hinds, Hatton Park
Comedian Adam Beardsmore

Volunteers from Molly Olly’s Wishes will run the bar and take home a percentage of the evening’s proceeds.

The charity, which is run from the Hatton Park home of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw, was established in 2011 following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and supports children with terminal or life-limiting illness and their families.

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.

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

For details of Comedy At Work’s next gigs, including Hartwell, Shilton, Bishampton, Kineton and Norton Lindsey, visit: www.comedyatwork.com

Charity music nights set to strike the right chord

Charity music nights set to strike the right chord

A SERIES of new live music events will raise the right notes for local charities at a venue in Warwick.

Flamenco Spanish restaurant at Tudor House in West Street is hosting the Friday night music quizzes as part of its new regular weekend live music offering.

And on Sundays youngsters are being encouraged to showcase their talent in the Flamenco Factor, where prizes are also up for grabs.

Alex Clayton and The Miacats with Rachel Ollerenshaw from Molly Olly’s Wishes. Photo by David Fawbert Photography.

The music is provided by, among others, The Miacats, made up of musicians Mia Rose from Stratford and Leamington’s Stephen Boyer and Rob Cooper who play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass and cajon (drum box.)

Mia said: “We’re trying to offer something that’s unique in the sense that we want people to take part and have fun. Music is largely about building communities through song so that’s our aspiration really. It’s to encourage people to express themselves, not to be brilliant but about going away with a sense of having enjoyed it and felt like they were a part of something.

“We bring loads of percussion, such as bongos, tambourines, shakers, bells and put it all out on the table and invite people to explore it. If you do it like that you build a really nice rapport with the audience. It’s about getting the audience on board, not just about doing a quiz.”

Flamenco, Tudor Inn, Warwick

The quiz will take the format of Name That Tune with prizes and free drinks on offer, followed by a further hour of fifties, sixties and Motown music.

Rob and guests also perform A Bagful of Soul set at Flamenco on Saturday evenings and, on Sunday afternoons, Stephen and guests perform jazz and sixties tunes.

Proceeds from weekly raffles throughout the month will be donated to a number of local charities, the first to benefit being Molly Olly’s Wishes.

The Warwick-based charity 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.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Molly Ollerenshaw
Molly Ollerenshaw just a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

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.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s Wishes are very grateful to the team at Flamenco for their support. Quiz nights are always good fun and great for different age groups. The local support is really important to the charity so thank you to everyone involved.”

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

Alex Clayton, proprietor at Flamenco, said: “Music and the arts is a great way to raise awareness for local charities that have a message to send and we’re delighted to be supporting this wonderful cause.”

In another new feature for 2020, The Flamenco Factor, the restaurant hosts a series of talent heats leading to a grand final later in the year.

Alex said: “We are keen to make Flamenco a creative space for music and food. I think music is something children don’t have enough exposure to so the whole idea is that parents can come, have their Sunday lunch and then can showcase the talent of their children. It’s something no one else is doing around here.”

Flamenco, Tudor Inn, Warwick

Flamenco is the second project for Alex Clayton who recently won Best Spanish Restaurant Award for Tasca Dali which opened in High Street seven years ago.

Following a refurbishment and with more exciting plans for the year ahead, he now hopes to replicate this success at the new Spanish restaurant, marking the latest chapter in the rich history of The Tudor House Inn in West Street.

https://flamencowarwick.com

Counting down to South Pole Challenge for Molly Olly’s Wishes

Counting down to South Pole Challenge for Molly Olly’s Wishes

AIMING to raise £20,000 for children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes, businessman Dean Attwell is undertaking a gruelling three-week expedition to the South Pole, with every penny donated to the charity supporting children with terminal or life-threatening illness.

Self-funded and leaving on Monday 30th December, Dean, the Group Chief Executive of Redditch-based business Oakland International, said: “I know that we all get constantly bombarded with charitable donation requests, but I urge everyone to stop and take a look at Molly Olly’s Wishes, and when you do, you’ll see why I am pushing so hard to raise money for this great charity.”

Dean Attwell, Oakland International, Molly Olly's Wishes
Dean Atwell in training for his South Pole Challenge.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was founded by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw following the death of their daughter Molly Ollerenshaw who was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour. Sadly, following her five-year battle Molly passed away in 2011.

The charity grants individual wishes to children ranging from providing specialist equipment to help with day to day living, to alternative therapy treatment, and by granting wishes to ensure a child doesn’t become isolated. They have also created a therapeutic toy lion, Olly The Brave, and book, ‘Olly The Brave And The Wigglys’, to help with a child’s emotional well-being at the start of their treatment journey, which are donated to hospitals and individuals across the UK. In just two months the charity has received 79 wish requests. Wishes can vary from a request for a hoist for a hot tub to ease chronic muscle pain, to a bed, wig or a visit from a child’s superhero.

Molly aged eight.

Molly Olly’s Wishes Co-founder and Trustee Rachel Ollerenshaw commented: “Molly Olly’s Wishes are extremely grateful to Dean and all the team at Oakland for their support. This is an incredible challenge that Dean is taking on and we wish him every success. Every day children and families that Molly Olly’s help face physical and emotional challenges that they have no choice about. The money raised will help make those dark days brighter. Our work would not be possible without the kindness and generosity of companies and individuals and the wishes and Olly the Brave packs that make a real difference to children’s emotional well- being.”

Undertaking a demanding training regime leading up to the expedition, these last few weeks have seen training increase to ensure Dean can deal with the extremes of weather, temperatures and icy and snowy conditions he’ll find at the South Pole.

 

Dean Attwell, Oakland International, Molly Olly's Wishes

Said Dean: “We’ll be skiing up to 10 hours a day at an altitude of approximately 3,100m before we finally arrive at the South Pole on the 14th January 2019.

“Molly Olly’s Wishes has helped over 1,500 children ranging in ages from 0-18 across the country and donated Olly the Brave therapeutic toys and books to over 50 UK hospitals. All expedition costs are covered, so every penny donated goes directly to support the work of Molly Olly’s Wishes which does such amazing work.

“Thank you everyone in advance for donating as it means a great deal to me personally and to the many children the charity supports every day!”

To donate and support Dean please visit his fundraising page: https://lnkd.in/eNCwNjX and you can follow Dean’s training journey on Facebook: oakintuk Twitter: OaklandIntUK LinkedIn: oakland-international-limited

You can find out more about Molly Olly’s Wishes by visiting visit: https://www.mollyolly.co.uk/

Spring into action and help trampoline park spread some Christmas cheer

Spring into action and help trampoline park spread some Christmas cheer

TRAMPOLINE park visitors in Warwick are being invited to spring into action and help spread extra Christmas cheer by supporting a new charity toys appeal.

Jump In Trampoline Park is collecting gifts for Molly Olly’s Wishes who will in turn distribute them to children in hospitals across the area.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Jump In, Christmas
Rachel Ollerenshaw and manager Sam Dunn

Between now and Christmas Eve the popular family attraction will accept new toys for children and young people aged up to 18 when handed in over the counter.

Plus there’s the chance to take part in the Name our Reindeer Competition. The winner, which will be announced on Boxing Day, will get to take home the ride-on toy.

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.

The charity’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 £2m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Molly Ollerenshaw
Molly Ollerenshaw just a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “We are extremely grateful to Jump In once again for their support. Donating toys is a great idea and will undoubtedly bring a smile to children and their families who are facing very challenging circumstances at what should be a fun, carefree time. These gestures whether big or small can help to make those dark days brighter. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Manager at Jump In Warwick Sam Dunn, said: “Christmas is a time for giving and here at Jump In we want to embrace that. As a family venue, we are delighted and proud to be partnering with this wonderful charity that works so tirelessly to help children and their families through such a difficult time.

“Please donate a small gift next time you visit us in the knowledge that it is bringing some joy to those most in need of it, especially at this time of year.”

There is plenty of fun to be had at Jump In’s new Christmas Parties, designed especially for groups of families and friends of all ages to enjoy.

Molly Olly’s Wishes also needs the support of companies and individuals to enable it to help more children. Please contact Rachel on 07747 854914. Further information or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk

Available seven days a week, partygoers can choose from two unique packages Blitzen and Dasher, both of which have all the yuletide entertainment and refreshments laid on. To book call 01926 356290, contact hello@gojumpin.com or book online at www.gojumpin.com/locations/trampoline-park-warwick. Choose Christmas Party from the drop down menu.

Pioneering new app for local charity

Pioneering new app for local charity

The leading figures in Warwickshire’s technology and gaming industries have come together to create a new digital character to help teenagers diagnosed with cancer.

Representatives from the Institute of Coding, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, One Health Care and games developers from Leamington Spa have brought their expertise together to create a new online digital character alongside the charity Molly Olly’s wishes.

Molly Ollerenshaw just a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

The character will develop the charity’s work in supporting young people through their cancer diagnoses and treatment by reaching an older teenage audience through an online platform.

Molly Olly’s wishes, which was founded by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their daughter Molly to cancer at the age of eight, provides special treats or equipment to children aimed at making dealing with cancer treatments more comfortable.

The tech experts have come together to develop Olly, who features in the charity’s book series and is also a soft toy mascot with detachable hair, into an online character for teenagers suffering with the disease.

The Institute of Coding is a Government initiative bringing together a network of employers, universities, training providers and professional bodies to create the skills needed for the digital economy. That expertise will help develop the new character alongside gaming designers, CWLEP’s digital connectivity arm and One Health Care, who specialise in digital healthcare.

Louise Phipps, from the Institute of Coding at Coventry University, said she was delighted to be able to help the charity to reach a new generation of patients.

She said: “The work that Molly Olly’s wishes does is so important for young people coming to terms with life-threatening illnesses and provides a really important tool for them to understand and share their experiences with the Olly character.

“Bringing together these experts to help provide their time and knowledge to this has been an incredible experience to be a part of.

Rachel Ollerenshaw added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a small charity to develop with the help of experts who have very kindly donated their time to help us, which we are so grateful for.

“Alongside all the work we do with helping children to understand their illness, we also fund a consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and in the local community.

“Through all of these different methods, we are able to help support children and teenagers as they live with life-threatening illnesses and we’re so incredibly grateful for the support in expanding this help.”

For more information on the charity visit: www.mollyoll.co.uk