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Secret Santa is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company based in Blackburn, which works with Children's Services to provide Santa Sacs to underprivileged children in the local area, who would otherwise go without presents at Christmas. Secret Santa aims to provide a Santa Sac of 7 gifts (worth around £25) to 1000 children in the local area including the following items:
- Selection box
- Stocking filler
- Board game
- Sport item
- Misc. present (worth around £10)
We are working with Secret Santa to help the collect donations to help underprivileged children. You can help by donating money or gifts in our Blackburn store, or directly to the Secret Santa pop-up shop next to Tui in Blackburn Mall.
Milly's Smiles is a charity that provides “Milly Bags” to every child has been newly diagnosed with a cancer-related illness at Alder Hey and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital . “Milly Bags” are filled with essentials for a prolonged hospital stay with a child newly-diagnosed with cancer.
Each bag costs £160 to put together, and Milly's Smiles wants to expand their project - by providing Milly Bags to EVERY child who has been newly diagnosed with a cancer-related illness at EVERY hospital in England.
We are currently raising money for Milly's Smiles by hosting a charity raffle. First prize is a £50 Grays Gift Card, and 3 runners up will receive a Hype backback. You can purchase raffle tickets in both of our stores for £1 (or a strip of 5 for £4) and 100% of the ticket price goes directly to Milly's Smiles.
We are still also selling charity carrier bags in our stores, and taking cash donations, to help Milly's Smiles spread comfort to families nationwide.
Milly's Smiles currently provides a bag to every child newly diagnosed with a cancer-related illness admitted onto Ward 84 at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, and Alder Hey Children's Hospital. These bags are filled to the brim with objects that are invaluable to famililes going through a long hospital stay. Each of the Milly's Smiles holdalls contains:
- Rainbow fleece blanket, giving the child a touch of home comfort and luxury.
- Neck pillow, which is handmade and can be used by any of the family.
- Thermal cup which allows parents to make hot drinks to take back onto the ward, as the cup has a secure lid.
- Clear juice bottle which enables the nurses to monitor the fluid intake of the child, and also looks funky with the Milly’s Smiles logo.
- Soft beanie hat- most children lose their hair with the chemotherapy and this gives them the chance to practice wearing the hat before their hair has fallen out.
- Notebook, pen and plastic wallet as during the initial admission time, families are given so much information that having somewhere to write notes and store leaflets is very much appreciated.
- Wash bag containing toiletries including shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and baby wipes, we have recently added a good sized towel too.
- In-ear thermometer for monitoring temperature.
- Rainbow knitted elephant, just because we can
In Autumn 2014 Milly started to look very pale and was feeling unwell. When she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia her families lives changed forever. Milly was admitted to Ward 84 Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and underwent endless endless bouts of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Four weeks after the transplant, Milly rang the end of treatment bell and was discharged home. Milly was to start St Augustine’s High School in September, and she was on track to do so. Milly attended a taster day with her friends she smiled from start to finish, she was so happy to be there with her friends being ‘normal’. In July 2015, Milly’s platelet count starting dropping, and a bone marrow biopsy was done as an outpatient . That evening Milly attended the St Augustine’s induction evening. She loved it. However, when they got home, there was a message to call Milly’s consultant – the leukaemia was back.
Milly was readmitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and started treatment again, but got several infections and became very unwell. On September 3rd 2015, Milly’s family was officially told that there was no further treatment for Milly and to take her home and love her. After a 10-month-long battle, Milly passed away on September 20th 2015, surrounded by her family. She was 11 years old.