The sun shines on our delivery team as they head to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

The sun has been shining on our delivery team today as they headed over to Liverpool to take our Milly Bags to Ward 3B.
This is our first delivery of 2021 to Alder Hey and takes our total number of Milly Bags provided to the ward to 193.
It is always an honour and privilege to support newly diagnosed families and we thank each and everyone involved in allowing us to make such a difference every day.

First visit of the year to Ward L31 – Leeds Children’s Hospital

On 17 February it was all hands on deck at Milly’s Smiles HQ (maintaining social distance) to load up our volunteers car with 20 Milly Bags bound for Ward L31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
It is always so lovely to be able to take our Milly Bags in person to the hospitals, we love to meet the staff and whilst it is heartwarming to hear how much they appreciate our bags, we also know how lucky we are to have the hospital staff’s support, in allowing us to provide Milly Bags for their newly diagnosed families.
It is definately a team effort, and we couldn’t do it without the help and support of so many people in so many ways.
We are so proud to be able to make such a difference to newly diagnosed families every day.  

Amazing generosity in the darkest of times

Last week we were were lucky to meet Ward 84 mum Rosie, who came to drop off a donation of £1,000 that has been raised in memory of her grandma.
Rosie’s daughter, Emma was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when she was only a few months old, and they were imediately admitted onto Ward 84 and given of our Milly Bags.
Rosie has supported Milly’s Smiles previously when her school raised money last year for us, and she knew that she wanted to continue with that support, so asked for donations to our charity in memory of her grandma.
After raising such an amazing amount Rosie told us that ‘there has been amazing generosity in the darkest of times’.
We feel very humbled by the kindness shown by everyone who has donated and send our love and very kindest wishes to all the family.

Generous donation from Blackburn Chemicals Holdings Ltd

Last week we received a wonderful letter from local firm Blackburn Chemicals Holdings Ltd.
The company are world leaders in the development and manufacture of foam control agents, and employ 75 people in their factory in Blackburn.
The family run business founded by George Lamb in 1972, told us how impressed they are with the good work that we do in supporting families of children newly diagnosed with cancer.
Blackburn Chemicals Holdings also made a very generous donation of £10,000 to allow us to continue with our work.
To say we were overwhelmed is a huge understatement, this is phenomenal, and will make such a huge difference to Milly’s Smiles.
Receiving support from a prestigious local company is wonderful, and we are so very grateful and thankful for their kindness and support.

Fundraising from Ward 84 mum Rachel raises £1087.60

After her daughter was admitted onto Ward 84, mum Rachel has been fundraising for Milly’s Smiles.
Lorayah was diagnosed with leukaemia in September 2019, and when she received her Milly Bag,  Rachel told us that it ‘made her smile on her darkest day’.
Rachel has been busy organising a raffle with some tremendous prizes and a cake sale which saw British Bake Off being given a run for their money.
We are so very grateful for all this amazing support, it always warms our heart when families want to support us.
The amount that has been raised is wonderful and will make such a huge difference to us, massive thank you to Rachel and everyone who supported her.
We send lots of love to Lorayah and all her family for her ongoing treatment.

Since losing Milly, people have treated me differently…

Since losing Milly people have treated me differently, many have not known what to say to me, people cross over the road to avoid me or they dive down another aisle at the supermarket in an attempt to avoid speaking to me.
I understand this and accept it because knowing what to say is so hard, I know people don’t want to upset me and worry if they mention Milly that will happen.
Grief is something that is not understood or talked about by many people, yet apart from birth, death is the only other thing in life that is totally guaranteed…… death and grief ultimately travel hand in hand.
Milly’s School – St Augustine’s RC High School got it right, from the moment Milly should have attended school as a year 7 pupil in September 2015 they have been supportive and kind, initially with her diagnosis and treatment, and then with her being taken to heaven.
Her form tutor told me that he considered Milly as much a part of his year as everyone else.
The school gave support in so many ways; allowing us to have Milly’s bench there for her friends to gather, acknowledging her anniversary every year giving love and support to her friends and to me as Milly’s mum. They supported her charity raising money and arranging toothbrush collections for us, along with a host of other things.
The school totally got it right and this warms my heart and fills me with love.
Finally as her classmates prepared to leave school and make their way forward in the world Milly was included, her name is on the leavers hoodie, which I wear on her behalf with pride and her picture is included in the leavers book along with her classmates.
Never be afraid to talk to someone about their child, or to include their child, especially at this time of year. Seeing Milly’s name on Christmas cards to me is getting it right, remembering to mention her is important, even if all you say is ‘I don’t know what to say but I am thinking of you’…. as bereaved grieving parents, it’s all we need to hear.

Be Strong raise £600 for Milly’s Smiles

In November 2020 a  group of wonderful people from Be Strong put themselves completely out of their comfort zone and came together to celebrate their achievements and successes over the last year.  The result was a brilliant calendar with all the proceeds being donated to Milly’s Smiles.
Initially they raised a fantastic amount of £430, however this has since been topped up to £600 by two very generous donations.
A massive thanks goes to everyone who took part, we think are all amazing and very brave!
We have to mention the wonderful Rick and Rachel of Be Strong, they have worked so hard and give their unfaltering support constantly to Milly’s Smiles and for this we thank you so very much.

Ward 84 receives their first delivery of 2021.

Last week volunteers David and Vicky took our first delivery of 2021 to Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
We are now approaching our 5th year of supporting new families admitted onto Ward 84 and have provided 587 Milly Bags which values at almost £120,000.00.
Our Milly Bags have evolved over the last 5 years, growing in both size and content. This is due to feedback from both families and nurses on the ward, suggesting additional items that would be beneficial.
The bags are now very well known and recognised throughout the hospital, families tell us that they are able to identify other oncology families, especially when they are in another part of the hospital, and this gives them a great starting point for striking up a conversation with someone they don’t know.
The latest addition to our Milly Bags are the heat-packs, the nurses told our delivery team how well they have been received, they say the children are loving them and find them both comforting and therapeutic when using them to help with pain and aches associated with chemotherapy.
For us one of the most heart-warming things was the renaming of our bags, initially the bags were known as ‘Welcome Bags’ however whenever families talked about our bags they would call them ‘Milly Bags’ – we absolutely love this, and so that is what they are now known as.
We still feel very privileged and humbled to be able to support families during such a difficult time.  We will forever be grateful to everyone for their support in allowing us to continue to make a difference every day.
Events News

Happy Healthy 2020!

Despite 2020 being a difficult year for fundraising we have been overwhelmed with the amount of support received over the Christmas Period.
We are so grateful for all your kindness and generosity.
Donations have been received from local companies, donations have been made in lieu of people sending Christmas gifts and cards, people have donated anonymously and people have simply put money into our bank account.
Kindness is everywhere despite the difficult times we are all experiencing, and that truly warms my heart.
We apologise if we haven’t contacted anyone directly to pass on our gratitude but often in cases where money is donated via Virgin Money Giving or Just Giving, people can get missed.
Please do know that we are always humbled and thankful for your kindness.
We wish you all a healthy, happy 2021 and thank you for believing in us and continuing to support Milly’s Smiles.
Events News

Paul takes on the challenge of Pendle Hill – 250 times!

Over the course of 2021 Paul is taking on a personal challenge of climbing to the summit of Pendle Hill 250 times in order to raise much needed funds for us at Milly’s Smiles.
Paul plans to take on the hill up 3 times a week doing at least 2 laps per visit.
He has already got off to a great start even with all the snow and ice we have had recently.
We are so grateful for his support, we have been hit hard over the last year with a reduction in fundraising and there appears to be no respite anytime soon.
Any support means the world to us and allows us to continue making a difference to families every day.  A massive thank you to Paul, we look forward to seeing the updates as he progresses with his challenge.