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20 September 2021 – 6 year anniversary

“I love her with the utmost love of which my soul is capable, and she was taken from me. Yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it”.
William Wordsworth
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News

Sabden Cricket Club hold a Charity Golf Day

Last month Sabden Cricket Club held a Charity Golf Day and we were the charity!
Sabden have been so supportive of Milly’s Smiles over the last few years, and for this we are very grateful.
The day was a great success, lots of local business donated raffle prizes, the sun shone and fantastic amount of money was raised along the way.
Thank you so much to Nick, Richard and everyone involved with organising the day, we know how much work goes into arranging everything.
And thank you to everyone who supported the day, a massive £1,153.00 was raised, which will help us to continue helping newly diagnosed families when they need it most.
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News

Milly’s Smiles 7th Annual Walk – Sunday 7 November 11.00am

Every first Sunday in November we celebrate Milly’s birthday by holding our annual ‘Walk 5 Miles for Milly’s Smiles’.
The walk is always popular, we have familiar faces that turn up every year as well as new faces that are keen to support us and get involved.
We really look forward to this event, it gives us chance to chat with you all and show our thanks for all your kindness and support…
Our walk is a big part of our annual fundraising and if anyone wanted to walk and raise money then that would be amazing – but most definitely is not essential.
What we love most of all is that you care enough to support us by walking on that day.
Massive thank you for all the previous years support and we look forward to seeing you all soon
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News

Phil and Sam complete Yorkshire 3 Peaks and raise £1413.00!

A huge well done and massive thank you to Phil, and Sam who have raised a fantastic amount of £1431.00 this weekend by conquering the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Phil chose Milly’s Smiles because of the support we provided with our Milly Bag to his good friends after their 7 year old daughter Zara was been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma. Zara was diagnosed after being admitted onto Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Phil set himself the tough goal of completing his challenge in under 9 hours, and this involved ascending all of the Yorkshire peaks with a distance of 25 miles and 5200ft of ascent. He managed to achieve this in a staggering 6 hours and 54 minutes.
Thank you to Phil and Sam and to everyone who supported them, this is wonderful for us and allows us to continue making a difference every single day
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News

Milly’s Smiles Summer Fayre

Our Summer Fayre was awesome!
All the last few months preparation, worry and sleepless nights have paid off!
The day was wonderful, the weather held for us and we were supported from people near and far.
It was a privilege to meet so many families who have had a Milly Bag, we especially loved meeting Link who joined us in his Super Hero T-shirt and was a dab hand at blowing bubbles.
The event was opened by Dexter and Joey, who are from Ward 84 and they (along with their parents) have been instrumental in helping us secure our unit.
Dex and Joey were joined by the Mayor of Hydburn and together they formally opened our new unit beautifully.
We had some wonderful stalls run by lovely people, the Police and Fire Brigade joined us, and they were fantastic at interacting with all the families and children, and really helped make the day a huge success.
There were lots of games and activities to get involved with, many coconuts were won on the coconut shy, balloons were popped to win prizes, and people had had the chance to guess the name of rainbow bear, number of sweets in a jar and the number of balloons in Milly’s van!
The day was brilliantly held together by the Police Cadets who worked so hard serving drinks and looking after all the stall holders, we thank every one of you so very much.
Finally the cake competition, we had some beautiful cakes and were happy to give the judging to Gemma from Loulou’s, prizes were given to the first three winners. Thank you Gemma.
The day has raised £1971, however we had a donation from a young boy of £29 as he wanted to bring the total up to £2000! This is way beyond what we ever expected.
Thank you so very much each and every person who has been involved in making today so wonderful.
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News
Milly’s Smiles started in November 2015, just 2 months after I lost Milly.
I wanted to help every family receiving the worst news possible, that their child has cancer.
I also desperately needed to keep Milly’s name and memory very much alive.
After a few months of research I came up with a Welcome Bag. A bag full of essential items to help through the first few weeks of an unplanned hospital admission. It was to be given to every newly diagnosed family admitted onto the ward.
Ward 84 received our first bag in February 2016. It was funny because when they came to collect the bags they brought a tiny trolley, not realising how big our bags actually were! The trolley barely contained 2 bags, let alone the 25 we had for them.
The bags were an instant success, every item was needed and used every day, very quickly our rainbow blankets started to brighten up the ward and have now become an instantly recognisable item, identifying oncology families to each other.
After a few weeks the families and staff renamed our bags to Milly Bags and this is how they are now known. (I love this !)
In April 2016 we became a fully registered charity which was a proud moment indeed.
After a year operating from my garage and living room it was clear that we needed some premises. We rented a small office (up 4 flights of stairs!).
However 2 years of carrying large boxes up and down almost daily took its toll and with storage becoming more limited we knew we needed somewhere bigger.
During this time we had also taken on another hospital – Ward 3B at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Luckily for us a small industrial unit became available which was perfect and we were fortunate enough to secure it.
And this is where we find ourselves almost 6 years later.
We now are honoured to support 4 large oncology wards at 4 major hospitals across the country.
Royal Manchester, Alder Hey, Leeds and St Barts Children’s Hospital’s .
To date we have donated 1014 Milly Bags at a cost of approximately £141,960.
Families tell us our Milly Bag is so much more than a bag, it’s knowing someone cares and understands their fears and worry of what lies ahead. It’s about being there at that time where life has forever changed to before and after.
6 years ago I never imagined Milly’s Smiles would have made such a difference to so many families.., we are so lucky to have tremendous support from people from all walks of life.
I wish that there wasn’t a need for our bags, that children didn’t get cancer, ever. But until that time, our Milly Bags will continue to support families across the country every single day.
Thank you to everyone past and present over the years for your belief in Milly’s Smiles, and to the 1014 families we send all our love to you.
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Events

Millys’s Smiles Summer Fayre – 15 August 2021

We would love you to come and join us at our Summer Fayre on Sunday 15 August 2021 at our Unit in Great Harwood.

There will be lots going on throughout the afternoon to keep all the family entertained.  We have some special guests planned. A best decorated cake competition, fun activities for children and lots more.

If you are interested in having a stall please email us at hello@millyssmiles.org

We hope to see you there.

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News

Richard’s epic cycle from Lands’ End to John O’Grouts

At the start of the year, having finished work in December, Richard was looking for a challenge and an opportunity to mark that transition.

He decided on cycling Lands’ End to John O’Groats as it was something he’d long had at the back of his mind, but never really thought he would get the chance.

In March his nephew Chris’ 3-year-old daughter Mary was diagnosed out of the blue with cancer.  After tests it was determined to be at stage 4 which was terrible news for Chris, and all his family.  Richard wondered if there was any charity or organisation that was supporting Mary that he could raise money for, to try to do something positive.

Chris suggested Milly’s Smiles, a charity who had provided him, his wife Colette, Mary and their 10-year-old son Henry with support, to help whilst the treatment started.

For Richard, any sponsorship needed to have some element of endurance, and not be too comfortable.  For that reason, he decided that he would give himself some extra challenges –

1. every night spent camping (except for emergencies);

2. solo and unsupported (apart from the very occasional meal and a shower in the houses of friends and family as I pass by);

3. mostly powered by plants (with the occasional non-vegan cake or pudding to keep morale high).

Richard achieved all of the above and so much more. His blog was a delight to read and we are in awe of what he has done for Milly’s Smiles.  To date he has raised a staggering £6,649.00 which will fund 66 Milly Bags for families facing such a devsatating diagnosis.

We send our most grateful thanks to Richard and everyone who has sponsored him, and we send our love to Mary and her family and wish her all the best with her ongoing treatment.

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News

Race to the Castle – 100km Ultra Marathon

During the last weekend in June, five lovely people undertook an incredible challenge –  Race to The Castle.

This is a mamoth challenge where participants can walk, jog or run an epic 100km Ultra Marathon in the stunning surroundings of the North East of England, finally ending up at the finishing point at Bamburgh Castle.

The group have done this challenge several times in the past,  this year they decided that they would do it for Milly’s Smiles.

Training began in February, and the team battled sleet, snow, rain and howling winds during their rigorous training programme.

We are in awe at their determination, dedication and commitment to raise money for us.

The photo’s from the day are fabulous and the smiles at the finish line are wonderful to see.  A huge thank you to Dian, John, Wendy, David and Nadia, for your amazing support and for raising a wonderful £3,840 for us.

 

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News

Wedding Day!

Being happy isn’t something that you think you will ever achieve when you lose your child, in fact, it is something that you really don’t ever want to feel again.
Because how can you be happy when you have lost a huge part of your heart, how can you ever smile again when someone you love more than life is missing from you?
However the world will continue to turn and whether you like it or not, things will and things do change.
Recently, I came close to happy, probably as close as I ever can be..
A few weeks ago I got married surrounding by the people I love, and although Milly wasn’t there, she really was there.
She was entwined into the day from the start to the end, and for that I am blessed.