Olivia McDonnell and Phoebe Greenway from Shoebury decided to declutter their bedrooms this summer but didn’t want to add to a rubbish pile and instead chose to raise money for the new Fair Havens being built in Southend.
Phoebe, who attends Hinguar School in Shoebury, explained how the innovative pair got the idea, “We both wanted to do a clear out, but when we saw how many old teddies, toys and clothes we had – we thought there must be a way we can use them for good. We had both heard about Havens Hospices at school and the new hospice they are building from our parents, so we thought we’d help them with that. We wanted to help others in our local community, and this was a really easy way to do it because we were getting rid of this stuff anyway.”
The friends who first met aged four at Alleyn Court Preparatory also made loom bands to sell alongside the toys and clothes. They set-up camping chairs and a table in front of Olivia’s home and were pleased to be visited by neighbours and passers-by. They have raised £82 for the charity’s Power of a Pound campaign and getting them closer to achieving their final fundraising target of £350,000 to complete the build of the new 16-bed hospice and help the charity continue ‘Making every day count’ for adults with life-limiting illnesses and their families across Southend, Castle Point and Rochford.
Olivia, who attends Alleyn Court, wants to encourage others to get fundraising and explains how easy it is to do, “It’s really good to fundraise, it’s fun to do and you’re helping others through it. The toy sale was so easy to do because we already had everything – I think a lot of people do clear outs a lot and then either throw it away or donate things to charity shops, which is a good thing to do. But holding a sale and fundraising that way is so much more fun – we had a great day and we were able to bring joy to both the adults who will be helped through the new hospice, but also to those who purchased the toys – because some toys can be really expensive and you might never think you’ll be able to get it. It was nice to see smiles on others faces when they got something they really wanted.”
If you’ve been inspired by Olivia and Phoebe and want to help Havens Hospices unleash the Power of a Pound, there’s plenty of ways to get involved. You can pop into your local charity shop or go online to donate £1 or like Olivia and Phoebe you could organise your own fundraising event either at home, at school, with your sports team or club or with work colleagues. For more information how you can help please visit our website.