About Olly

1 child in every 500 in the UK will develop some form of cancer by the age of 14 and current data suggests there are 1,900 new cases of childhood (0 to 14 years in age) cancer in UK each year.

More children are told that they have another life-threatening illness in one form or another.

Many of these, especially those diagnosed with leukaemia, will be under 5 years old. Molly Ollys has developed a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave and accompanying story books, to help support these children.

These are donated free of charge to children either through their hospital or can be requested directly.

When children are newly diagnosed with any life-threatening illness, the shock to both parents and patients is immense.

The hospital environment, full of new sights, sounds and smells can be disturbing.

They are very quickly thrown into an environment alien to them and have to take in a whole new world of procedures, language and interactions with doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

This all has to be done while accepting the diagnosis itself.  It is a very frightening and challenging time for all concerned.

Olly The Brave was developed with this in mind, to help with the child’s emotional well-being. There are two Ollys available – one with a central or Hickman line, and one with a portacath (port). Both central lines (which have tubes visible externally) and ports (which are installed under the skin) enable medication to be administered and bloods to be taken without the repeated use of needles. You can choose which version of Olly is most relevant to the child’s situation.

Olly also has a detachable mane that helps to explain and normalise the hair-loss that comes with many types of chemotherapy.

Several different manes are available reflecting the changes in hair colour and type that can occur when hair regrows after treatment.

Olly The Brave and his books are now used in over 70 hospitals and community nursing teams around the UK

Olly The Brave Books

As well as Olly The Brave, the Charity has produced six books covering different experiences associated with having a life-threatening illness.

The books, which are beautifully written and illustrated by Diane Maybey, tell the story of Olly, his family and friends. 

Book 1 : Olly The Brave and the Wigglys, in which Olly is diagnosed and has his central line (‘Wigglys’) inserted

Book 2 : Olly Being Brave and Chemotherapy

Book 3 : Olly The Brave Back at School and the Wibbly Wobbly Tummy

Book 4 : Olly The Brave for Brothers and Sisters – Ben’s Big Stuff

Book 5 : Olly The Brave Beginnings and Endings – Nights of Cuddles

Book 6 : Olly the Brave The Colours of the Day – Finding Life after Olly

Please be aware the Books 5 and 6 are of a sensitive nature and cover end of life and bereavement.

Olly And The Wigglys

Olly The Brave and the Wigglys

Olly And The Wigglys

Olly Being Brave and Chemotherapy

Olly And The Wigglys

Olly The Brave Back at School and the Wibbly Wobbly Tummy

Olly, Brothers And Sisters And Big Stuff

Olly The Brave for Brothers and Sisters

Olly, Beginnings And Endings

Olly The Brave Beginnings and Endings

Olly, The Colours Of The Day

Olly The Brave The Colours of the Day

Olly The Brave & His Books Application

If you have a child with a serious illness that fits our criteria, then we are happy to donate an Olly The Brave lion and/or any of the accompanying books, to support the child’s emotional needs.

Please note that details of your child’s hospital and illness may be requested.

Please be aware the Books 5 and 6 are of a sensitive nature and talk about end of life and bereavement – we strongly recommend that you consider carefully which books are appropriate for the current situation your child is facing.

We are very happy to provide the books at different times, to fit with your circumstances; for example, your child might have recently been diagnosed and will be having treatment, so Books 1 and 2 would be appropriate, and perhaps Book 4, if they have siblings. At the stage when your child is going back to school, you could contact us and request Book 3.

If you are a health professional working with seriously ill children, we are happy to provide stock for hospitals and community nursing teams. Please complete the form and we will contact you to confirm the details.

Every donation, whatever size, helps a seriously unwell child


Current data suggests that 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every day, and that 1,900 children under the age of 14 in the UK are diagnosed each year.

More children are diagnosed with a range of other, often rare, conditions and illnesses that are also life-threatening.

Molly Ollys is committed to helping as many of these children and their families as possible, and works hard to raise the necessary funds to be able to help those who contact us.

You can help us do this by making a donation, joining in with our fundraising events, running your own events, using Give as You Live when you are shopping, and by leaving a legacy in your will. Please visit our How you can help page to find out more.