8 years of supporting Ward 84/86

Milly’s Smiles Bag deliveries are usually very evenly spaced out between the various hospitals that we support. However this month we have become quite busy with 3 of our hospitals requiring a delivery.

Fortunately we are well organised in our unit and always have bags packed, tagged and good to go, so that we can deliver as soon as hospitals let us know they are running low.

Today was the turn of Ward 84/86 at The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. We have been supporting the ward for 8 years now and today’s delivery has taken us up to 880 Milly Bags in total.

We are very blessed with all the support we get from donations, fundraisers, bag packers and delivery drivers – none of what we do would be possible without every one of these amazing people.

Thank you to David and Vicky for safely delivering our Milly Bags today, and we send our love to the families who will very sadly be receiving one of our bags in the coming weeks and months.

We always wish there was no need for our Milly Bags, but for as long as there is a need, we will continue to work hard to support children and families every single day.


432 miles cycled by team Avidly

We are thrilled to be working with Avidly UK & Canada this year as their chosen charity.

The team have already kick started their fundraising with an indoor cycling challenge, which saw half the team cycle 43 miles (the distance from their office in Clitheroe to The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital) whilst the remainder of the team cycled 18 miles.

16 brave staff members took on this challenge in March and the total amount of miles covered was 432! We think this is beyond impressive, and an outstanding achievement.

Avidly are hoping to raise enough money to fund 20 of our Milly Bags, which works out at £2,800. Already they are off to a fantastic start having raised a massive £1075!

Huge shout out to everyone involved in such a tough challenge, we thank you so very much and think you are all absolutely awesome!


Easter Eggs donated to Ward 86

Over Easter our delivery team David and Vicky kindly delivered a huge box of Easter Eggs to Ward 86 at The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The eggs were donated by an amazing lady whom I met last week when she called at the unit to drop off the eggs.

Ramona has been asking her fellow runners to bring Easter eggs to their running sessions so that she can donate them to Milly’s Smiles – it was so lovely to meet Ramona and hear all about the hard work she has put into getting the eggs.

Thank you Ramona for your kindness and thank you to David and Vicky for ensuring the eggs arrived safely on the ward.


Monthly bereavement support group (SOULS)

Are you or do you know anyone living without their child?

Milly’s Smiles run monthly bereavement support groups for parents, grandparents and siblings.

Our groups are completely free to attend and are very relaxed, giving you the chance to meet other families living with the loss of their child.

Each session we will do some creative therapies which can be anything from candle making to planting tubs and planters.

Whilst we understand that walking through the door for the first time can be very daunting, we will make you feel so welcome, and safe, and there will never be any expectations from you.

At our last group we made crystal bracelets – it was a fun afternoon spent crafting and talking about our children.

Please get in touch if you would like to join us – 07555541987.


Eric Wright Support Milly’s Smiles

We have had the pleasure of a volunteer joining us for 2 afternoons recently.

Natasha who works for Eric Wright Construction, has spent the afternoons making up our Milly Bags ready for upcoming deliveries and she has also helped with the preparation of activities for our SOULS bereavement groups.

It has been an absolute pleasure to have her with us, and a huge thank you to Eric Wright for allowing their employees to volunteer with a charitable organisation for one day a year. This is really phenomenal and makes a huge difference to the smaller charities.

Eric Wright Charitable Trust have supported Milly’s Smiles over the last few years and for this we are eternally grateful.

Having Natasha spend some time helping us out has been a fabulous added bonus.


Volunteer Day

We recently welcomed 4 lovely people from Avidly UK & Canada who came to the unit to do some bag packing for us.

We are preparing for a busy few months and therefore it was all hands to the pump!

An amazing job was done by everyone and in what felt like a few minutes we had enough Milly Bags made to keep us going for a good while.

It was a pleasure to have them all here for the afternoon and a huge thank you to everyone for all their hard work.


Thank you NWAS 111

Over the Christmas period staff at NWAS 111 raffled off some fabulous Christmas Hampers and Milly’s Smiles was nominated as the charity they wanted to support.

A massive £1010.00 was raised in total, which is amazing, and will make a huge difference to us.

Huge thank you to Jaki for nominating us and to all the team for their hard work in making the hampers, selling the raffle tickets and raising such a wonderful amount for us.


Milly’s Smiles Receives Community Chest Grant

We feel very lucky to have been awarded £2,100 from Hyndburn Borough Council to support our SOULS groups with running our monthly support sessions which focus on creative activities, for a period of six months.


Tesco Awareness Day

We spent 2 days at our local Tesco last week to raise awareness of Milly’s Smiles and to also find forever homes for some of our beautiful rainbow elephants.

Our elephants are lovingly knitted by volunteers all across the country and as well as taking pride of place in our Milly Bags, we also allow people to adopt them for a small donation, which then goes towards funding our Milly Bags.

Over the 2 days we were in the supermarket we found forever homes for many elephants and we are beyond thrilled to say we raised £1,294, which is almost 10 of our Milly Bags.

We received some gorgeous photos of the elephants with their new owners and we know they are going to be loved and cherished forever.

Our volunteers did an amazing job manning our stall and we send a huge thank you to Karen, Carrie and our superstar Lucy who all worked so hard over the course of 2 days.

Thank you to also goes to all the staff at Tesco Great Harwood who not only adopted elephants but also looked after us really well – Great Harwood you have been amazing – thank you!


Creative Crochet fun

Our unit was full of love and laughter at our February SOULS group. It was lovely to welcome new members to the group and they very quickly settled in and became part of our ‘family’.

We challenged ourselves to learn how to crochet and out of all the different sessions we have held this is the one where we laughed the most – and that’s so important at our group.

Laughing and feeling joy for however brief a moment is something many grieving parents feel guilty about, how can we laugh and smile when we have lost a precious child?

Our groups offer a safe, caring environment for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings to come and share thoughts and feelings without any judgement at all.

Please get in touch if you would like to join us or know someone that would benefit from coming along – 07555 541987.