Form 8 Lister at Bowland High School in Clitheroe, have kindly been collecting toiletries for us over the last few months. This has come at such a perfect time as fundraising and donations have been very few during the pandemic and every item, every penny we receive helps us tremendously. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed…this means such a lot to our families during a very emotional, frightening time.
When we moved into our new unit in February we were helped by so many amazing people, in so many ways. One thing that we knew we would definitely need was industrial racking, somewhere to store all our stock for our Milly Bags.
We put out a plea for help which was answered by Nick from West Pennine Storage Equipment Ltd. Nick worked with us over the following few weeks to determine exactly what we needed, and then the company generously provided us with a wall of industrial racking completely free of charge.
To say we are thrilled is an understatement,, the racking is perfect and has completed the refurbishment of our unit.
West Pennine Group have been amazing from start to finish, nothing has been too much trouble.
Thank you seems so small when our gratitude to this company is huge, but a million times over thank you to everyone involved and especially to Nick for his professionalism and kindness.
“WP Group provide a comprehensive range of storage equipment, from shelving to lockers and trolleys, which made them an ideal partner for the team at Milly’s Smiles, and the company are very excited to have been able to help them settle into their new location”. Director Colin Evans
WP Contact Details
Telephone – 01706 875500
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope everyone is managing to keep well and safe during this very worrying time. The team at Milly’s Smiles are all following government guidelines and staying home to save lives and protect the NHS. Personally I work as a District Nurse, very much on the front line visiting sick patients who are being nursed at home. Staying home is not an option that I have.
The charity are aware that we have been quiet since the country went on lock down. We are busy behind the scenes preparing for when the country gets back to normal. The support to our hospital’s has not changed during this pandemic, all wards were well stocked with Milly Bags prior to the lock-down and so far we haven’t had any requests for additional Milly Bag as of yet.
Despite the strain on the NHS, children are still being diagnosed with cancer related illnesses and our Milly Bags continue to being given out. No family would ever choose to be given one of our bags, but should they sadly find themselves in hospital with their child they are so very thankful to have the support our bags provide. We have received some lovely messages from families who have been in the awful position of receiving a Milly Bag.
“Hi, we have had the devastating news that no parent ever wants to hear and we have received a Milly’s Smiles Bag. Our 3 year old daughter Olivia loves her rainbow blanket, thank you so much xxx”
“We received our Milly’s smiles bag on Wednesday just gone, we wasn’t expecting to stay in the night so when one of the lovely nurses at children Manchester hospital brought one to us it honestly brought tears to my eyes an amazing thought and idea for partners who don’t expect to stay and was so useful and beautiful to have,my daughter Matilda is only 11 months old and she loved the blanket and little teddy’ who we’ve named Elsie“
To all our families who are self-isolating to keep their children safe, we send our thoughts and our love.
Please everyone, keep yourselves and your families safe.
Children from across the country have been putting pen to paper and produced some amazing writing in the form of Shenanigans’20 Children’s Anthology; Aspiring Dreams.
Between the pages of this book are the brilliant imaginations of children, who are aged between ten and fifteen years-old. Topics range from a time traveller to dealing with bullying at school. Some of these children have never written anything like this before, but have produced some amazing work, with the proceeds going straight to Milly’s Smiles.
We look forward to reading the stories when the book is on Sale, and wish them all the best with the book signing that will be taking place on April 4th.
Huge thank you for supporting Milly’s Smiles.
At the end of last week, we loaded up the van with our first delivery of Milly Bags to leave the new unit.
It was a joy to be able to reverse the van into the unit and just place the bags into the back. Previously we have had to have a military operation in full force in order to safely carry 20 heavy Milly Bags down 4 flights of stairs to waiting transport! Today we were very sleek and very quick to load up the bags and quickly be on our way to Ward L31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
We were greeted by 2 lovely ladies on arrival and it was so heartwarming to hear how they much our Milly Bags are appreciated by all the families who receive them. They told us about a family from Hull who were admitted without any belongings at all, and how they were so overwhelmed to receive a bag containing items to help them during the admission period and beyond.
This is the very reason we do what we do, to be able to make a difference during what is one of the worst times in a parents life, for us is an honour and a privilege.
Thank you for supporting us and allowing us to do what we do, we could not do it without the help and support of everyone around us.
Over the last few months we have been putting together a series of short films explaining what we do and why we do it. We have been lucky enough to have some of the recipients of the bags speak with us and tell us how much our Milly Bag meant to them.
Over the coming months we will be sharing our films with you, we would love to know what you think..
Earlier this week Tom Yates decided to “brave the shave” and have all his hair shaved off for Milly’s Smiles.
Crazy…but brilliant! He raised a tremendous £235.33 for us which will make a huge difference to families from all over the North West of England and beyond.
Thank you Tom, you look fab!
We have been busy working on getting the unit ready for occupation. Over the last few weekends we have been cleaning, sanding and painting every spare hour we have had.
We have had some much help from some lovely people, and slowly everything is coming together.
We have tried to be as frugal as possible and when we asked if anyone was able to help us with floor tiles, we had an amazing offer from a company in Bolton, who gave us all the floor tiles completely free of charge. Massive thank you to Nigel and ellenby Construction Company Limited, for such a kind, much needed helping hand.
The highlight so far for me has been getting our sign over the unit doors. Very proud and highly emotional to see my daughters name above the unit. This is all for her, to help children going through what we experienced and making a difference to them everyday.
Last year, Vin and wife Tracey took on the challenge of the Edinburgh Half Marathon, to raise money for Milly’s Smiles. They chose our charity after a friends son was treated on Ward 84 for leukaemia, and the family had spoke about what we do and how we support newly diagnosed families.
I had the pleasure of meeting Vin and Tracey at a Charity Ball last year, and seeing their commitment and passion for our Charity was so heartwarming. To meet people who are willing to undertake such a challenge which requires months of training outdoors, in all kinds of weather, is very humbling. Just knowing that people who don’t know me or Milly are willing to do this for us is absolutely fantastic and not something that I will ever take for granted.
Vin and Tracey completed their half marathon in 1 hour 54 minutes and raised £2000 for Milly’s Smiles.
When I was chatting with Vin he mentioned that both he and Tracey were thinking about doing the Edinburgh Marathon in 2020, and true to his word they have both signed up and will be running for Milly’s Smiles again.
They are on already well into their training and their last run was 11K at Loch Leven. They were running in arctic winds straight off the water with rain like tiny stabbing needles, beating onto their faces! Immense commitment…. we wish them both lots of luck with their training and keeping fingers crossed for some warmer weather!
Thank you both so much, we look forward to hearing how you are getting on.
Asking for money has always been very difficult for me, and not the best way to be when running a charity and constantly needing people’s help and support!
The Charity has been operational for 4 years now and in March it will be 4 years since the first delivery of Milly Bags left my house, bound for Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Over the last 48 months we have gone from strength to strength, we moved into a small second floor office where we had everything under one roof. The charity was well supported by so many people that we were able to offer the same service to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in October 2018.
This was quite a gamble for us, our commitment to families doubled instantly, it meant twice as much stock being ordered, and stored, and double the amount of bags being made and delivered.
However, we exceeded our own expectations with this project, fundraising was still happening for us and, as such, we decided in October 2019 to expand further and offer our Milly Bags to children diagnosed at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
As you can imagine our commitment to support newly diagnosed families has increased substantially and we are no longer safely able to continue working from our small office.
We took the decision to look for a unit, in our local area, that could accommodate the charity’s expansion, and have secured one that is just perfect for us!
And now comes the difficult part …..we need help and support in making the unit fit for purpose, and this comes at a cost! We are hoping to raised £8,520, which is the price we have from our builder to cover all the work that needs doing.
We are asking for any help or support that can be given.
Whatever form the support takes would be amazing for us. If you know of any businesses that would like to sponsor us, or take us on as their charity for the year, please pass our details on to them.
If you are looking to hold a fundraiser, please consider us as your charity.
We are a charity that is local to so many people, we support families from all over the North West of England, Yorkshire and The Humber. By helping us, you are ultimately helping families whose world has just come crumbling down. You are helping us continue to make a difference every single day.