Friends adopt ‘pedalo power’ for canal fundraiser

Friends adopt ‘pedalo power’ for canal fundraiser

PEDAL power will be driving two south Warwickshire fundraisers who are putting their weight behind an unusual challenge for a local children’s charity.

Friends Alex Pearson from Stratford and Emma Brayne from Warwick will be joined by two canine companions as they travel almost 12km of The Grand Union Canal – in a pedalo!

Pedalo Challenge, Molly Olly's Wishes, Rachel Ollerenshaw
Alex, Emma, Archie and Chester in training.

The pair have been in training to prepare for the eight-hour challenge, which will see them set off from Radford Semele and finish at Hatton Locks, on July 13th in aid of Warwick charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.

As community champion of Morrisons, in Leamington, Alex, 33, is no stranger to fundraising, recent efforts including sponsored walks for both Safeline and Clic Sargent.

She said: “We did some really good work with other charities and I was told about the work Molly Olly’s do. I was so keen to support and help raise money for this great charity.

She added: “We’ve been doing lots of pedalling on a machine whilst working at our desks with our feet going like mad underneath. We know this is going to be hard and we are having lots of practises on the pedalo beforehand to get ourselves ready.”

“I like to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising. All my family and friends say I am mad but they know what I decide to do is for the greater good. I like to do the toughest challenge and push myself as much as possible.”

Along with Emma, Alex will be joined been joined, as on most of her challenges, with her dogs Archie and Chester.

“These two are my world and I love the fact they can join me in doing these fundraisers. Also people like to donate money because of them,” Alex added.

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 Warwick-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 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.

Molly Olly's Wishes
Rachel Ollerenshaw

“Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “We always love new and creative ways to fundraise and Alex’s pedalo challenge is certainly that. Alex and the team at Morrisons Leamington have been very supportive. They do so much for our local community. Molly Olly’s are very grateful for the help and would ask people to support where they can. The latest delays in the rules have meant that more fundraising events have had to be cancelled so any fundraising is very welcome as we have many families who need our support.”

The girls, who have had the support of Leamington Boats and The Canal River Trust, are also adding collection tins in the store and hope to reach their fundraising target of £500. To donate visit HERE

Emma, 39, added: “I felt I wanted to play my part to help Alex. When I heard which charity it was in aid of and learned all about what they do, it only made me want to help even more. Molly Olly’s do so much for families going through the unimaginable turmoil experienced by a poorly child, so me suffering a few sore limbs is nothing.”

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

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

Steve makes huge strides to boost funds – and fitness

Steve makes huge strides to boost funds – and fitness

A kind-hearted granddad from Stratford is losing pounds – whilst also raising pounds – for local causes in lockdown.

Fifty-six-year-old Steve May has vowed to walk 500,000 steps a month in aid of 12 different charities throughout 2021 – the equivalent to 6 million steps – or 3,000 miles –  the width between the east and west coast of America.

The fundraising fitness regime comes on the back of a new-found love for walking which started in lockdown last March and has seen him shed three-and-a-half stone in weight.

Steve May, Molly Olly's Wishes, fundraising

Steve, who has lived in Stratford all his life, said: “I had to shield and work from home so I took advantage of the one hour’s exercise every day and it built up from there. I walked every day since 14th March last year and really enjoyed appreciating the great outdoors.

“It’s also been good for me on a personal level because it’s improved my physical and mental fitness. It means I’ve been able to reduce my medication for high blood pressure and don’t have to wear a mask at night for sleep apnoea anymore, all due to the weight loss.

“Also, if I can do it and enjoy it and raise money for different charities then that makes it even more rewarding.”

Until the end of March Steve, an operational support analyst at Sitel in Stratford, is walking in aid of Warwick children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.

The 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.

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.

Other charities lined up to benefit include MIND, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and two charities particularly close to Steve’s heart following his father’s death four years ago, Myton Hospice and Blood Cancer UK.

Charity founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “All The team at Molly Olly’s were very grateful when Steve got in touch to say that we were one of his chosen charities for his 12 months of fundraising. It is great challenge that will help raise much-needed funds for many different organisations including Molly Olly’s which is very much appreciated.

“So many charities have struggled as we are not able to fundraise as usual at a time when we have seen an increase in demand for our services. Every pound counts so please support Steve with his February challenge.”

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

To donate to Steve’s fundraising, visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-May7

Treasure trail reward is Aaron’s new ‘pride’ and joy

Treasure trail reward is Aaron’s new ‘pride’ and joy

A five-foot furry lion is the new ‘pride’ and joy of a young schoolboy who got more than he bargained for following a Christmas shopping trip in Warwick.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Olly The Brave, Aaron Carlyle

Four-year-old Aaron Carlyle, from Alcester, has taken delivery of the supersized Olly The Brave after successfully completing a charity lion hunt with his friend Sophia Esler, aged eight.

Throughout December keen-eyed shoppers were invited to follow the clues to spot Molly Olly’s Wishes charity lion mascot Olly the Brave in 14 windows, each one sporting festive outfits and displaying a letter.

Entries, which spelled out seasonal words, were then posted through the letterbox at Molly Olly’s Wishes offices in Swan Street, Warwick for the chance to win the super-sized Olly.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The cuddly lions have their 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.

Aaron’s mum Lisa said: “He was over the moon when he found out he’d won but don’t think we realised just how big he was until he arrived at the front door!

“Molly Olly’s is such an amazing charity. For the family to turn something so negative into such a huge positive for so many is amazing. I really take my hat off to them.”

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

Lion hunters invited to join charity’s festive challenge

Lion hunters invited to join charity’s festive challenge

YOUNG ‘lion hunters’ are being invited to prowl the town centre for hidden clues on a new treasure trail in Warwick this Christmas.

Throughout December keen-eyed shoppers are able to follow the clues to spot Molly Olly’s Wishes charity lion mascot Olly the Brave in 14 windows. Each one will be sporting festive outfits and displaying a letter.

Entries, which will spell out seasonal words, can then be posted through the letterbox at Molly Olly’s Wishes offices in Swan Street for the chance to win a super-sized version of Olly The Brave.

Molly Olly's Wishes, treasure trail, Christmas, Rachel Ollerenshaw
Photo by David Fawbert Photography

Participants are also invited to make a donation to the charity, which supports children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses and their families. It was established by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The cuddly lions have their 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 said: “The treasure trail is free but if you would like to make a donation to the charity, we would be extremely grateful. As you can imagine this year has been extremely difficult for Molly Olly’s Wishes as their fundraising has significantly reduced but we are seeing a massive increase in wishes and children requiring Olly The Brave therapeutic lions and books to help explain their journey.

“Thank you for all the retailers for their support and for making us feel so welcome in our new offices. Anything people can give to help Molly Olly’s Wishes help children and their families through their darkest days would be extremely gratefully received.”

To download the treasure trail clues visit here

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