Bargain bridal gowns set to raise funds for charity
12th April 2024
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More than 40 brand new wedding dresses and accessories in a variety of styles and sizes will be available to buy at knockdown prices during the one-off event, organised by The Gap Community Centre on 18 May.

The gowns, worth a total £80k, were donated to Molly Ollys by Boho Bride when it closed its doors at Stratford Garden Centre last year.

Boho Bride’s Lynette Turner said: “We had a lot of dresses that we couldn’t take with us, so after our sample sale we decided to donate the remaining dresses and accessories to Molly Ollys.

“I have always supported children’s local charities, including schools, and wanted to be able to continue my support by donating over 40 dresses to help children and their families, who are going through a very difficult time.

“The work that Molly Ollys do to help very sick children and make their families’ lives a little bit better is very important. Making children’s wishes come true is a very special gift for all the family, enabling them to share those precious moments and make forever memories. The more donations that are made, the more children and their families can benefit from the charity’s support.”

Molly Ollys was established in 2011 by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw following the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The Warwick-based charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as providing wishes and donating therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

The therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 70 hospitals or health centres, along with a set of books from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.

Alongside the dresses – available in sizes 10-22 – there will be accessories to buy, including shoes, underwear, and head pieces, plus stalls from local businesses offering wedding-related services. Companies taking part include Simply Unique Ceremonies, Tora Wilson – Soprano, The Northants Roadshow, Brides & Blooms florist, Ultimate Fireworks, Zilfarni Soaps and Scents, The Tipsy Traveller Bar Hire, Beadie Productions Photography, Templespa, Beetle Bugs Wedding car Hire, and Lindsey Kay Bridal.

Each of the businesses is also contributing to a raffle on the day, with the chance to win prizes including a hand-tied bouquet, gift hampers, photography session, pamper class and fireworks.

Proceeds from the raffle and stalls will help The Gap continue its important work reducing loneliness and social and financial isolation  bringing people together by running its vital community togetherness activities. The Gap’s activities and services are a lifeline for community members who would otherwise find it hard to meet people, providing essential support for their emotional health and wellbeing. The Gap also provides rooms for hire at reasonable prices for special occasions such as wedding parties.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “We are very grateful for the donation of the wedding dresses; it certainly was one of the more unusual donations we’ve received! In these challenging times with the rising cost of living, it is nice to think that we can offer brides the opportunity to have a fabulous dress at a greatly reduced price, that at the same time, gives back to charity.

“We also want to thank our friends at The Gap Community Centre, with particular thanks to Emma Joyce Smith and Amanda Burford for all their support and help to make this event happen. We look forward to meeting lots of brides!”

Organiser Emma Joyce Smith said: “It’s very exciting to be putting on our first wedding fair. Please do come along even if you’re not getting married because it’s free entry and there’ll be tea, coffee, and light refreshments.”

Amanda Burford, The Gap general administration manager said: “We’re very excited to be hosting a lovely opportunity to bring people together, which is what we’re all about. We can’t wait to meet all the happy couples we’ll be welcoming on the day.”

For more information about Molly Ollys or to donate visit the website.

For more information about The Gap visit the website.

 

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Ian Henery

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