PEDAL power, pumpkins and bananas were among the wide range of fundraising themes resulting in donations of more than £2,600 to a Warwick children’s charity.
Leamington Morrisons community champion Alex Pearson and her friend Emma Brayne from Warwick were joined by Alex’s two canine companions as they travelled almost 12km – and negotiated 27 locks – in a pedalo, raising £1,922 for Molly Olly’s Wishes.
The pair completed weeks of training to prepare for the eight-hour challenge, from Radford Semele to at Hatton Locks, in July.
Their efforts, which had the support of Leamington Boats and The Canal River Trust, were boosted with fundraising outside Morrisons in Leamington and match-funded by the store.
Alex said: “Last Christmas I was looking for a new charity to work with. I knew what Molly Olly’s do is just amazing. The idea of a pedalo was just me thinking outside the box.
“Loads of people do runs and walks so I wanted to be different and seeing a pedalo on the Grand Union Canal is just that. Having Archie and Chester with me is just another great thing to have as both of them help with fundraising for charities where they can. As Molly Olly’s is celebrating 10 years it would be amazing do something for this milestone. I have my thinking cap on as we speak.”
Other local businesses have also been busy, including The Edwards Company in Wombourne which has presented £400 through a series of fun fundraising initiatives including Halloween competitions, guess the bananas in the jar competition, donating £1 every time they write a blog, and supporting the ‘O For Olly’ social media campaign.
Elsewhere, The Deli in Warwick has raised £100 by running a pumpkin carving competition and The Marketing Pod in Solihull – which is an integrated marketing agency – has donated £200, after learning of the valuable work the charity does.
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 supports children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and their families. It gives gifts, helps with emotional support and it donates therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.
Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “It is just amazing for us to have such proactive supporters. From a pedalo challenge to Halloween competitions and guessing how many bananas are in a jar! What a plethora of creative ideas and ways to raise funds.
“That money will allow us at Molly Olly’s to make lots of very poorly children smile with a wonderful gift that they or their family have chosen. We are very grateful to Morrisons Leamington, the Edwards Company, the deli Warwick and The Marketing Pod.”
To find out all the ways you can donate to Molly Olly’s Wishes, please visit here
Molly Olly’s Wishes was set up following the experiences of Molly over the 5 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 16,000 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.
The charity is well-known for its therapeutic toy lion, Olly The Brave, which has its own Hickman line and a detachable mane. The soft toy helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack which includes a six-part book series. For more info, please visit www.mollyolly.co.uk