Canal Pedalo Challenge for Charity

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!

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, as on most of her challenges, by 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.

“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: .Their Just Giving Page 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

Written by Amanda Chalmers PR