MOLLY OLLYS WISHES is the superstar racehorse playing a ‘vital’ part in helping children with terminal and life-threatening illnesses.
Dan Skelton’s seven-year-old mare has come from nowhere to win three races on the spin.
The trainer was ‘shocked’ after the rapidly improving horse sprung a huge upset in a Listed contest at Warwick earlier this month.
But not only is she winning races, Molly Ollys Wishes is winning the hearts of seriously and terminally ill children all over the country.
The horse, owned by Dean Pugh and wife Elaine, is named after a children’s charity.
Rachel Ollerenshaw set up Molly Olly’s Wishes with husband Tim in 2011 after their daughter Molly died from a rare form of kidney cancer aged eight.
The Pughs help raise funds for the children and the horse – that has won more than £30,000 during her career – raises awareness.
Rachel, 50, who is based in Warwick, said: “Molly Olly’s Wishes is a small charity with a big reach, but we don’t have paid teams to fundraise and no big PR machine.
“We have a couple of staff and a small team of incredibly loyal and dedicated volunteers.
“We provide approximately 350 wishes a year to children across the UK and send out hundreds of our therapeutic toys, Olly The Brave.
“We also support one-off projects for the NHS, none of which we could do without funds.
“Awareness to help us raise funds is vital and that’s how the racehorse-naming idea came about.
“Dean and Elaine and the team at West Murcia supported Molly in her last days and have helped the charity since we were founded.
“They have sponsored events and throughout 2021 are donating funds to sponsor a wish for a child every month.
“The wishes make a big difference to families facing extremely difficult circumstances.
“West Mercia Fork Trucks [Pugh’s company] have helped enable these with financial donations and the hope is that the their horse, Molly Ollys Wishes, will go from strength to strength and with every win will get people talking about the charity and increase donations.”
The charity has gifted children iPads and other goods to keep them entertained during long stays in hospitals.
One of those being helped by the charity is 13-year-old Emma Davis from Somerset.
Brave Emma was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2020 and has undergone ‘hideous treatment’.
But her spirits were lifted massively by a present from Molly Olly’s Wishes.
Mum Sarah said: “We were pointed in the direction of Molly Olly’s Wishes as a bit of a pick me up after Emma endured six months of hideous treatment.
“After her recent hospital stay we thought it might be nice to ask them for a Nintendo Switch.
“Hopefully it will help reduce the boredom of future stays. We hope there won’t be any but aren’t blinkered to the fact it’s still likely, with 20 months of treatment remaining.
“Emma had a letter from the charity to say her wish had been granted.
“We’re so grateful to Molly Olly’s Wishes for their generous gift and promise to share the amazing work their charity does to as many people as we can.”
So next time she runs, keep an eye out for Molly Ollys Wishes – you’ll be backing a winner even if she isn’t first past the post.
If any companies or individuals would like to sponsor a wish or make a general donation Rachel and the team at Molly Olly’s would love to hear from them www.mollyolly.co.uk or you can make a donation through https://www.justgiving.com/mollyollyswishes
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