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1st Jul, 2022

Friends climb back in the pedalo for canal fundraiser

PEDAL power will again be driving two Warwickshire fund-raisers who are preparing to travel ten miles along The Grand Union Canal – in a pedalo.

Friends Alex Pearson from Stratford and Emma Brayne from Warwick are preparing to navigate tunnels and locks as part of their intrepid challenge, in aid of local children’s charity Molly Ollys.

The pair, who be joined on their journey by Alex’s dogs Archie and Chester, are hoping to beat last year’s total of £2,000, including match-funding by The Morrisons Foundation.

The fund-raiser will take place on June 15 – the anniversary of eight-year-old Molly Ollerenshaw’s death, with this year also marks the tenth anniversary of the charity.

The women, who have had the support of Leamington Boats and The Canal River Trust, will be pedalling between The View at Wootton Wawen and Hatton, where Molly’s family live.

The end of the challenge will also be marked by a poignant release of 20 butterflies outside Hatton Cafe.

Alex, a community champion at Morrisons in Leamington, said: “At the store we really want to support our local charities and when I met Rachel it was emotional to hear Molly’s story. This is a great charity which supports so many children in both our community and around the country.”

Molly Ollys emotionally supports children up to the age of 18 who have life-threatening illnesses.

It does that through its Olly The Brave therapeutic soft toy and award-winning books, as well as donating wishes to children who are facing unimaginable challenges.

Between 2017 and 2020, the charity funded Birmingham’s first paediatric palliative consultant as there was no such consultant for the region. That position has now become permanent and is currently funded through the NHS.

The charity works alongside the NHS to support projects within the hospitals and the community. One key project was the creation and refurbishment of Magnolia House at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This is a safe and non-clinical space where medical teams and families can have important discussions.

Molly’s mum and the charity’s Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw, said: “This will be a bittersweet day for me as June 15 is the date Molly passed away 11 years ago.

“Alex and Morrisons Leamington have been such great supporters of ours for the past couple of years and following the success of last year’s pedalo challenge, Alex was keen to offer her fundraising support again.”

The girls will once again be supported by Alex’s friend David Fletcher and Emma’s husband Adam Brayne who will offer moral support and lock-keeping duties along the route – as well as raising money themselves.

Donations for their sponsored ten mile walk can be made via

To support Alex and Emma, donations can be made via

Visit to donate to Molly Olly’s.

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