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Young Engineers Beyond The Brick LEGO Exhibition July 14th – 20th

youngeng2We are delighted to announce that we will be visiting Newport for a whole week in July as part of The Young Engineers Beyond The Brick Exhibition. It is a week long event being held at The University Of South Wales Newport City Campus. It promises to be a fun packed seven days of LEGO related fun. Opening on the 14th of July, the first five days will focus on school groups in the morning followed by public sessions in the afternoon. By the weekend there will be a range of exhibits including those from members of the Brickish Association which is the largest LEGO User Group in the UK with over 200 members, many of which are world class LEGO builders. Our friends from Bright Bricks will also be there including the UK’s only Certified LEGO Professional, Duncan Titmarsh. It won’t just be looking though. There will be plenty of opportunities for children, (and adults!) to join in and play with some bricks.

We will be there raising both awareness and funds with the hope of being able to generate enough to benefit hospitals in the South Wales area. There will be fantastic LEGO prizes on offer which will hopefully include something rather large. A live build is of some prizes is also likely along with the opportunity to help us build our mosaic.

We would be delighted for everyone to come along and join us in making the event a success. We believe this is the largest LEGO Exhibition ever to be staged in Wales. Tickets are selling fast and if you purchase before April 28th they are available at a discounted rate. Click here to take advantage of this offer.

St Oswalds Hospice Donation

IMG_3085All donations have similarities however what happened at St Owsalds Hospice injabba Newcastle on April 15th is unlikely ever to be repeated. It all started when we had a message from Gemma (seated to the left) She had been talking to Lisa (seated to the right) about us and our donation. Lisa works as an Occupational Therapist and spends time inventing new techniques to assist patients with difficulties in their treatment. Ideas were flying around about how to use the LEGO when suddenly Lisa thought of Jabba! Jabba is a cartoon character created by Beastie Books Limited to assist a patient called Ewan with his needle phobia. He may look menacing but in reality he isn’t a horrible individual, he is simply misunderstood.

Lisa wanted to know if the LEGO we were donating could be used to build Jabba. While building most things from LEGO is possible when attempting to create something so unique its unlikely that the correct parts will be available no matter how many sets you have. So we offered to try to produce the model ourselves and deliver it with the other sets. So after chatting to some world renowned LEGO builders, Andy who runs Minifigforlife stepped forward and offered to produce something. Andy was able to custom print LEGO parts which is the only way to achieve the level of detail required in a model that can be handled. The results which you can see below are spectacular. So a huge thank you to Andy for giving up his time, effort and money to produce him.

IMG_3075IMG_3068This is what Lisa had to say “Thank you so much for the LEGO donation. Can you pass on my particular thanks to the super talented and very kind man who built Jabba. I’m going to use him with a little boy called Ewan who has a huge needle phobia. Hypnosis is playing a part and Jabba forms part of a story that will hopefully desensitize Ewan. Having a LEGO model he can actually hold will prove far more effective than a drawing.”

To top off this unique donation George our delivery volunteer was able to take the sets outside for some unseasonal north eastern sunshine. He was then given a fantastic tour by Gemma to gain some insight into the invaluable work that St Oswalds do.  So a huge thanks to George for taking the time to deliver and a final thanks to RWS Translations whose fund raising helped to make this donation possible following their Fairy Friday.

Royal Bolton Hospital Donation

On Friday the 4th of April we were out and about again donating a big pile of LEGO and this time it was the Royal Bolton Hospital. As you can see though our volunteer Robert was not alone. The two hard working members of the play team, Rachel to the left and Carol to the right both wearing red are easy to spot. However also there are staff from the ever supportive Parcel2Go. They are based in Bolton and held a Fairy Friday fund raising event back in late February. We invited Mel and Sammy along to see the benefit their work would actually have. To us this is very important. All to often people can’t see their charitable donations being put to good use and we want to involve as many people in the process as possible. Again this is an example of local fund raising being linked with a local donation but its only correct to point out that we suggested that and not the staff.  Finally if you look very closely at Carols t shirt you can just make out a slogan that sums up why we are doing this so well that we may have to borrow it! Play is medicine to.

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Nottingham Childrens Hospital Donation

20140326_130425Back on Fairy Friday our friend Adrian was selling cakes and collecting donated sets in another part of the hospital. He did an amazing job and we wanted to20140326_130157 complete their £800 allocation as quickly as possible. So after some shrewd buying it was off to Nottingham Childrens Hospital which is part of a huge hospital campus. After tricky car park negotiations we were met by Caroline, a member of the play team who made the entire process a dream. Another team member Julie also made us feel very welcome. Assisting was Michael, our youngest volunteer at 5 who was able to help due to the teachers strike.  Also pictured are Angela with her daughter Alannah who was a patient and Caroline who is holding another superstar Ethan.

Caroline presented us with a card which you can read now to. It really was a wonderful gesture after being made by one of the patients. She also emailed us shortly after wards to say the following.

“Dear Fairy Bricks,

Thank you so much for your LEGO delivery yesterday, we really do appreciate the kindness of all your supporters”

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Pinderfields Donation In Wakefield

Back in February  we were present at the Yorkshire Brick Show to raise funds and awareness. As usual we always attempt to link local funds with a local hospital and after everyone’s generosity this was possible again. Well on the 7th of March we visited Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield armed with £800 worth of LEGO sets. Assisting us on the day was Willie from The National Coal Mining Museum who had so so generously allowed our presence at the Yorkshire Brick Show. We were met by Zoe, one of the play specialists who was thrilled with impact the sets would have on the children.

Unfortunately because of some technical problems we were unable to take any pictures but can share a story that makes everything feel worthwhile. We met a two year old boy who had both legs in traction and he was understandably not to happy. When presented with a Duplo set though he immediately forgot about his predicament and that was achieved by just holding the box!  Thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen.

 

Fairy Friday Success

We decided just after Christmas that we wanted February 28th to be the very first Fairy Friday. The date has passed and it is a pleasure to announce that it was a roaring success with cakes and LEGO enjoyed by staff, friends and family in five separate places in both the UK and beyond. In no particular order, this is what happened at all five places. A huge thanks to everyone who took part with either baking or buying cakes, buying raffle tickets or generally supporting the day.

First of all we had the office of Parcel2Go.com in Bolton. We first made a connection with them in May 2013 when we didn’t have a name, branding or website. They supported our idea then though and have continued to do so since and took on running a Fairy Friday with great enthusiasm. A conference room was given up and between them both Sally and Melanie worked tirelessly to make sure it was a success. Our friend Robert, a very well-known face within LEGO circles was invited along to display some models and take part in the fun. It was a reported that all staff had a fun day and between them over £200 was raised.  I understand the football competition was of particular interest. Please enquire if you would like to hire Robert and his stadium. He will work for cake or LEGO. On the back of their continued support we will be making a donation to a Bolton hospital within the next few weeks.

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The next stop was RWS Translations in Buckinghamshire. Lucy, one of their employees was involved with Fairy Friday from the idea stage and drafted the information for us in the original article. They have a strong tradition of baking within the company and when Lucy was given permission to host the event the response from bakers was instant.  In the end there was Lucy, Becka, Manu, Kathryn, Vanessa, Suzy, Steph H, Jess, Joanne, Mark, Steph L, Ruth, Linzi, Stefi and Alistair all baking. We don’t have the names of all the buyers but we did receive a message on the Friday morning saying it was a cake buying frenzy! Over £200 was raised on the day and in addition the staff are also donating £300 that was raised as part of their Great British Bake Off  competition earlier in the year. We asked if they would like to nominate a hospital and they requested if it could be St Oswalds Hospice in Newcastle after one of their colleagues was a patient there. We were only to happy to say yes as the hospice also cares for children. The donation will be happening very soon and will include a specially commissioned one of a kind LEGO model as requested by hospice staff.

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From Buckinghamshire and to our first of two events in the East Midlands. Nottingham to be precise and Adrian who works for the Nottingham University NHS trust hosted the day within his department. Not only was over £150 raised but sets worth over £130 were also donated to the Fairy Bricks cause. Now it would be silly for those sets to leave the hospital in which they were donated so they have stayed right there in Nottingham and we will be visiting on Wednesday to deliver approximately £700 worth of sets to give the play team their full allocation.

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Onto our second event in the East Midlands and the short hop over into Leicestershire. An event with a difference though. Not in a workplace but someone’s home. Joanna discovered us on Twitter in January and was eager to get involved as soon as she could.  With it being half term she was home with her children on the 28th but that wasn’t going to stop her. Friends and family were invited and between them they raised over £100. For someone to open their home for a new charity they have no previous connection to completely blew us away. Joanna was having too much fun with everyone so struggled to pick up the camera but did manage one picture. Next time we will get you a photographer!

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And so to our final destination. Reaching beyond the UK to France and our friend Jenni. Where would we be without Jenni. She to hosted a home event but you would think being an Australian living in Toulouse it would be difficult to know enough people to attend. Not difficult for Jenni. Keeping the international flavour alive there were guests from the USA, England, France, India, Poland, Africa, Malaysia and Brazil. Models were built by Steve, Silas. Eva, Helen, Sean, Edward, Advaith, Ojas, Renuka, Prithvi, Samantha, Nicholas, Thomas and Magdalena. Between them over £240 was raised. Like everyone else’s total we were simply staggered by the amount of money generated.

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So that sums up Fairy Friday. Apologies that it isn’t a short read but everyone’s involvement needed to be acknowledged. If any names have been missed please let us know and we will update the article. It’s almost beyond belief that the very first attempt at this has raised over £1000 which is way above any expectations. People actually choosing to get involved is just as important to us. Our goals are easy to understand, especially for children. It has been rumoured that one girl voluntarily cleaned up following an event! Hopefully this becomes a yearly tradition for us but if after reading you want to do one before then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Confused.com LEGO Brian Competition Last Chance!

Our friends over at Confused.com have been keeping us updated with their fabulous LEGO Building Competition and have shared a video of how they used LEGO to produce their ad.

So far around seventy entries have been received. Entries need to in by the 28th of March so you still have time to create something magical and win a fantastic LEGO prize. Full terms and conditions can be found here.  It’s wonderful to hear that so many children have been creative and entered their models,  a couple of entries can be seen below. Best of luck and get building! Thanks again to Confused.com for including us in this competition. While it means we can’t take part that is a small price to pay compared to their generous support. Brian and his friends are looking good!

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Our First Visit To Northern Ireland

LEGO 0125In 2013 we managed to make a donation in England, Scotland and Wales but time defeated us when it came to Northern Ireland. We wanted to prioritise a donation there early in 2014 but had a problem. Who would deliver the sets? We reached out to Huw, the owner of one of our key supporters Brickset to see if he had a contact. His reply said he did but couldn’t remember if Ronald was in the North or The Republic. We contacted Ronald and it turned out he was based in Dublin. However this wasn’t an obstacle and he very generously agreed to drive them north. After the sets were delivered by another of our friends Parcel2Go.com Ronald headed north to the Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry. As you can see from the pictures  the staff were thrilled as was Ciaran and his Dad Mark. Shortly afterwards we received the following letter

Dear Fairy Bricks,

I am sending you a belated thank you for the fabulous donation of the Lego bricks to the Children’s Ward in Daisy Hill Hospital.  This gift is beyond all expectations. The children will be able to get hours of entertainment, and stretch their imaginations, building and constructing and playing with these sets. The Play Therapists are totally delighted at this addition to their resources, and the scope it offers to the children. On behalf of the Play Therapists, Children and Nursing staff, I send a huge thank you. LEGO 0118

Anne Stanfield, Ward Sister, Children’s Ward

We really appreciate hearing from hospital staff and about the impact the sets are likely to have. This may have been our first trip to Northern Ireland but it won’t be our last. Huge thanks to all those who donated sets and to Ronald who gave not only his time but also risked life and limb on a particularly windy drive home!

Yorkshire Brick Show Fundraising

12754475274_090a119b8d_bLEGO fans from all over the UK and beyond arrived for the first ever Yorkshire Brick Show in their thousands on the 22nd and 23rd of February. Over 6000 people passed through the exhibition being held at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield. The event was organised by members from Brickshire and members from both The Brickish Association and Northern Brickworks were also in attendance displaying their wonderful LEGO models.  We were invited to both fund raise and increase awareness of our work in supporting hospitals with LEGO donations.

A huge thanks needs to be paid to everyone involved. First to the museum and organisers for welcoming us with open arms and supporting our plans. To all the12754422993_c84742dfce_h people exhibiting over the weekend. Without the spectacular displays then there wouldn’t have been any attendance. To everyone who helped out on the Fairy Bricks display building the Tower Bridge and selling raffle tickets, Jim, Sally, Kev, Jenny, Jason, Jodi, Andy and KT. Everyone volunteering really helped out and because of everyone’s hard work £1100 was raised to enable us to make more hospital donations. Some of the proceeds will be spent in Wakefield at Pinderfields  as we always attempt to link local fundraising to a local hospital. The final thank you needs to go to the public. To give so generously to a charity the majority of people there had never heard of speaks volumes for the community spirit on show. Here is hoping that the event returns next year!

Confused.com LEGO BRIAN Competition

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Did you happen to see the LEGO adverts that aired on Sunday night during Dancing On Ice? One of them featured the lovable BRIAN the Robot of Confused.com helping out LEGO minfigs with their car insurance. Check it out below if you missed it.

To celebrate their love of all things LEGO, and BRIAN’s especially the team at Confused.com have come up with a wonderful building competition where both Apprentice and Master builders can win some fantastic prizes. If you’re an Apprentice simply build a robot from LEGO for the chance to win a LEGO Movie Rescue Reinforcement 70813-1 set and yearly family pass to LEGOLAND Windsor. Five runners up will also receive a £30 voucher for the LEGO Shop.

Now if you consider yourself a Master builder then its time to build a LEGO BRIAN. He can be as simple or as complicated as you like and the lucky winner will receive a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313-1 and an exclusive car as featured in the add.

We are delighted to be partnering with Confused.com as part of  this competition and they are making a generous donation of LEGO sets to be used in our next hospital donation. Full details including the terms and conditions can be found here so get building and the very best of luck!