Unique NHS bench goes under the hammer for Hatton-based children’s charity

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The bench bears the message ‘2020 Love NHS’ and was crafted by plumbing firm Rudkin and Herbert in Leicester

A one-of-a-kind copper bench is being auctioned off to raise funds for a Hatton-based charity for children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses thanks to the generosity of a Solihull couple.

The bench, which bears the message ‘2020 Love NHS’ was crafted by plumbing firm Rudkin and Herbert in Leicester and bought for £2,000 by Simon and Lorraine Cave, from Solihull.

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The couple donated the proceeds to Leicester’s Loros Hospice and Cancer Research before then regifting the bench to Molly Olly’s Wishes, a charity which was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

Left shows Molly Ollerenshaw, top right; Rachel Ollerenshaw and bottom right shows the donated bench. Photos suppliedLeft shows Molly Ollerenshaw, top right; Rachel Ollerenshaw and bottom right shows the donated bench. Photos supplied
Left shows Molly Ollerenshaw, top right; Rachel Ollerenshaw and bottom right shows the donated bench. Photos supplied | other

The charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional well-being as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

The donation will come at a critical time for Molly Olly’s which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is forecast to lose around £250k in fundraising this year.

Simon Cave said he became familiar with the charity after moving to Solihull with his wife Lorraine more than 20 years ago.

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He said: “I wanted to donate some money to Loros but I’ve been involved in some of Molly Olly’s fundraising events for a few years now and I think it is a great cause that’s long been close to our hearts. We’re also aware how much charities are suffering at the moment.”

Ian Herbert on copper bench. Photo suppliedIan Herbert on copper bench. Photo supplied
Ian Herbert on copper bench. Photo supplied | other

Bids can be placed on the bench by texting BID to 07747 854914 with the amount, your name and preferred form of contact. (Delivery to UK address only.)

The successful highest bidder will be announced on June 15, which marks the ninth anniversary of Molly’s death.

Ian Herbert, director of Rudkin & Herbert, where a heating engineer spent a day making the bench from copper piping, said: “We felt this was the least we could do and wanted to show our appreciation for what the NHS are doing under the current circumstances. Also, my daughter has recently become an ambulance driver so it is very close to home.

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“It’s not just the NHS that need our help and donations, there are hundreds of smaller worthwhile charities in our communities that need our help and donations now.

"Every donation helps, whether big or small.”

The charity’s founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Molly Olly’s Wishes are very grateful to the team at Rudkin and Herbert and Simon and Lorraine Cave for donating this unique bench to the charity to help raise funds.

"It is certainly a piece that is symbolic of these extraordinary times and recognises the amazing work of the NHS.

“We hope to get lots of interest and the highest bidder will be the new owner and in the process will have helped make a difference to the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. “

Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk