PUTTING the fun in fund-raising was the order of the day at Hatton Park in Warwick.
The community event, rescheduled from earlier in the summer due to Covid-19, was hailed a huge success by the organisers who have raised more than £1,200 for two charities – Molly Olly’s Wishes and Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Service.
The fun day included stalls, BBQ, bar, live music, WI Bake Off and competitive events and was the brainchild of resident Jane Robbins who enlisted the help of friends and neighbours.
Jane said: “The idea came to me one day during one of my lockdown walks around the estate. Bored with the complete lack of events work, I thought wouldn’t it be nice, when restrictions are lifted, for residents, rather than just nodding and saying hello as the passed, to have an opportunity to socialise properly with their neighbours.
“We’re so glad we put out requests on social media for the extra pairs of hands to help on the stalls and the bar as we had over 400 people, of all ages, popping in throughout the day. It really did have a very friendly, happy feel and we were really pleased with how it all went and the support we received.”
Molly Olly’s Wishes was established by Hatton Park’s Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
The charity supports the emotional wellbeing of children with life-limiting illnesses and their families as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to children and hospitals.
Charity mascot is a toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the charity which, last October, moved into its first dedicated town centre premises, in Warwick – the month in which Molly would have turned 18.
Rachel said: “Community has been so important during the pandemic and it was lovely to finally be able to have a Hatton Park Fun Day and give everyone the opportunity to meet up.
“It was a good opportunity to raise awareness and funds. The weather was kind and everyone who joined us had a fun day and there was something for all ages. A big thankyou to the organisers.
“Molly Olly’s are feeling the effects of the pandemic more this year than last year and donations are down considerably – around 30 per cent – at a time when we have seen a large increase – almost 20 per cent – in the requests for support. The charity has received over 370 wishes over the past year and relies on the support of businesses and individuals to ensure we can continue our services.”
Half of the proceeds will also benefit the Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Service which provides county-wide support to those experiencing domestic violence.
It is a branch of Refuge – the country’s largest provider of specialist support – also offering refuge accommodation, independent domestic violence advocacy, outreach support and drop-in services.
WI member Lynda Jackson said: “We chose this charity to benefit after a number of us went and saw a play a few years ago that focused on the ill treatment of women, so it’s close to our hearts.”
Visit www.refuge.org.uk/our-work/our-services/refuge-warwickshire-domestic-violence-service and www.mollyolly.co.uk for information on the charities.