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Hippychick directors, Jeremy and Julia Minchin, made the MRI Scanner campaign for the Musgrove Hospital the focus of Hippychick’s fund raising efforts in 2018. At the time the two current MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners at Musgrove Park Hospital were over capacity and Love Musgrove, the Hospital’s official Charity, had committed to raising the £1 million needed to buy a third one.
Accident prone Jeremy, along with his wife, Julia, is no stranger to the scanners at Musgrove over the past few years.
Whilst paragliding in Nepal in 2011, Jeremy nearly lost his life in a catastrophic accident when his wing collapsed 120 feet above the ground and he fell onto the rocks below. He was airlifted to Kathmandu and then Bangkok, before being brought back to Bristol and finally Musgrove Park in Taunton. The existing scanning equipment at Musgrove was critical for checking an aortic stent which had been implanted overseas, enabling Jeremy to keep on the road to a recovery which took over six months.
More recently, Jeremy was thrown from, and subsequently trampled on, by a horse in November 2017. Thinking he was just heavily bruised he did not attend hospital immediately, but by the evening he was struggling to breathe and fainted repeatedly. Rushed to Musgrove a full head, chest and neck scan revealed that Jeremy had in fact broken 2 ribs and had a severely collapsed lung. As a result of the information from the scan an emergency chest drain was inserted and over 1.3 litres of blood was removed from the chest cavity. Despite these injuries, with the expert care of the Musgrove team, Jeremy was fully recovered within a matter of weeks.
Magnus Mowat, Chairman of the Love Musgrove MRI Scanner Appeal said I should like to thank the Minchins and Hippychick for their wonderful commitment to this cause. Everyone in Somerset is likely to need an MRI scan during their lifetime or knows someone who will. The South West as a whole is very short of capacity so the sooner we can bring this one to Musgrove the better. Community initiatives such as this one are essential to our success.’
Julia, Jeremy’s wife and original founder of Hippychick, is delighted to be able to help raise funds for a cause that has twice saved Jeremy’s life. “While Jeremy was out of action I was quite literally holding the baby with Hippychick, still a fledgling business as well as three small children. I needed Jeremy to get back on his feet very quickly and that’s exactly what the Musgrove helped him to do with their brilliant team and essential equipment.”
Jeremy said that “Given the amount of use I have given the current scanners at the hospital, it’s only fair for me to start contributing towards a third. Customers can donate voluntarily through our website and all Hippychick staff, including me, will be dreaming up a host of daredevil feats designed to boost the donations.’”
Julia is rather hoping that he may find a less controversial passion in 2018 and that the daredevil feats will include neither paragliding nor horse riding!
There’s nothing like a giant panda to get us all `oohing’ and `aahing’. Some say it’s because pandas resemble ourselves, they sit up and eat a bit like we do. Others say it’s all in the eyes – pandas have large, round eyes which remind us of children.
In the run up to Christmas 2018, for every Panda Wheelybug and Panda Nattou Rocker sold, Hippychick donated £1 to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to support specific projects associated with giant panda conversation. Whatever the reason for loving giant pandas, the fact of the matter is that they are listed as a vulnerable species and only around 2000 now remain in existence in the wild. Thanks to the efforts of these conservationists, the number of these pandas is slowly increasing but there is still a lot of work to be done to keep this species going.
We were delighted to support Educate the Kids as our Charity of the Year in 2016/17. The vision of this wonderful charity is to see the children of Africa have their needs met, their rights upheld and their dreams fulfilled.
The Charity was founded by Maureen and Ian McIntyre in 1998 after visiting Kenya and being moved by the poverty, poor health and lack of basic facilities. Maureen set up the charity and sponsorship program offering the poorest children access to a good education in the area of Utange, near Mombasa.
We chose Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) as our Charity of the Year for 2015/2016. CHSW supports over 180 life limited children, that sadly will not reach the age of 19, at their specialist hospice. They are there for the whole family, right from the point of diagnosis, CHSW is a safe haven for families who face the most difficult road imaginable.
More than 2000 people registered for the Hippychick sponsored Santa’s On the Run event in Bristol that year.
As part of the partnership the entire Hippychick office took part in a £50 challenge. The challenge urged businesses to think as creatively as they can to invest the money and turn it into a much bigger amount in just three months. In an interesting twist, two teams from Hippychick took the challenge, the `Hippy Chicks’ and the `Hippy Chaps’. Although the chaps took an early lead, the chicks turned it around last minute to get the victory with over £1200 raised for the charity.
At Hippychick we are committed to improving the quality of family life and to making it fun, which is why we were so delighted to have tied up with the fantastic Make-A-Wish as our first ever `Charity of the Year’ in 2012. We managed to raise well over £11,000 by the end of the year with fundraising initiatives including sky diving by two brave members of the Hippychick team, a constantly full clothing bank, coffee mornings, and donations linked to sales of Wheelybugs and Hipseats.
Laura Fisher at Make-A-Wish summed it up: “Thank you so much for all your support over the last year and for sending across the highlights of your campaign. We really do not underestimate the achievement. Hippychick have done so well and from a standing start to raise of £11k is simply terrific!”
Hippychick were delighted to have paid for the monthly maintenance, including clean filters and uv lamps, of a Water House in a secondary school located in one of the deprived areas of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Water Houses are connected to the main city water system. Sadly the pipes within the city are very old and unclean, and therefore contaminate the water.
The Water Houses provide a system of filters and uv lamps which purify the water to provide clean drinking water for the children. According to Field Director, Philippa Vernon-Powell, this particular Water House provided approximately 1,168,000 cups of clean drinking water a year to the 1,340 students and teachers!
For fifteen years a percentage of all of our profits went to new Life Mexico – an award-winning British Charity – which supports vulnerable children and young people in Mexico through health, education and social programmes.
We supported the national Charity, Epilepsy Action, through sales of our best selling Dream Tubes brand this year from May 17, the start of national Epilepsy Week, through to June 17 2015. We were delighted to help, albeit in a very small way, raise funds for their vital work in helping the estimated 600,000 affected by the condition in the UK. www.epilepsy.org.uk.
We are also huge admirers of the work done by another local charity, the voluntarily run adoption agency, Families for Children www.familiesforchildren.org.uk. This inspiring organisation has in the last five years alone, placed over 200 children from throughout the UK who have experienced loss and upheaval, with stable and loving families in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.
We try to support this wonderful wok in whatever way we can. The children they place are from all over the UK and are found new adoptive families in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and the isles of Scilly. Many of the children placed are vulnerable and have complex extra needs resulting from early childhood traumatic experiences, including abuse, neglect or extreme changes in their lives. Jeremy recently pushed himself to new physical limits doing their sponsored Two Moors Walk – from the South Devon to the North Devon Coast – a whopping 116 miles in 3 days, with Julia helping to organise fundraising events and activities! A huge thank you to all the kind friends, customers and businesses who helped us raise many thousands!