Community News From Around Our Area
New Premises Unlocks Latest Exciting Chapter for Warwick Children’s Charity
The first dedicated HQ for charity Molly Olly’s Wishes has opened its doors in Warwick in the same year as its namesake – and inspiration behind the charity – would have turned 18.
Molly Ollerenshaw died in June 2011, aged eight, after a five-year battle with a rare kidney cancer.
Having gained its charity status in 2012, the charity has so far raised more than £2.5m and helped more than 15,000 children across the country, from new-born to age 18 by granting individual wishes.
The 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 70 hospitals and community teams, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.
Molly’s mum and founder, Rachel Ollerenshaw, said, “It’s a really big moment for the charity to get this space. As we’ve grown as a charity it’s been harder to work from home and have space for the volunteers, so getting an office has been vital to the long-term strategy and vision of the charity.
“Warwick is a hugely significant town for us. It is our local town and where many retailers and people know us and to have a presence in the town is important. Because we have been based at my house and haven’t had a big sign outside, a lot of people don’t know we exist, so to get that high street presence will help awareness.”
And Rachel is confident Molly would also approve. “I think that Molly would like it. For me, the space has a heart. Having worked at home for so long and the charity being so personal, having a space that felt that it was professional but wasn’t too corporate, was important. That’s why I love Warwick and the new office, because it feels personal and friendly and it has that heart to it.”
It comes at a crucial time for the small charity which, like many others, is feeling the impact of COVID-19. It is forecast more than £250,000 in proceeds may be lost to their coffers with fundraising events wiped from the calendar, including the charity’s biggest event of the year, the Molly Olly Ball, in November.
Lockdown has also added immense emotional and financial pressure on many of the families being supported by Molly Olly’s which, despite diminishing funds, is working hard to continue granting wishes – although the nature of the requests has shifted from days out and experiences to gifts and equipment for bedrooms and gardens.
Support can be in many forms and more information about the charity’s work and how you can help is available by contacting Rachel Ollerenshaw at email@example.com or on 01926 698735. Donations can also be made direct via the website at www.mollyolly.co.uk/learn-about-donating/.