We aim to grant wishes and make dreams
to bring hope and happiness to children and young adults aged 3-25
who have life threatening conditions
Read more about
The Dream Factory »
OUR FIRST EVER NEWS LETTER
Winter 2015 »
Dates for your Diary
29th March 2015: Marriott Fun Day, Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel – more details to be announced.
24th September 2015: Charity Golf Day at Chigwell Golf Club. More details to follow
Beat the January Blues at the King William, Essex on Thursday 15th January 2015
An evening full of entertainment including live music performed by John Catherall, three course Southern Style menu inspired by the home of the Blues and a charity raffle and auction in aid of NSPCC, The Dream Factory and Children with Cancer.
The theme might be Blue, the night will leave you feeling anything but!
Tickets: £30 each including dinner and entertainment.
For more info & to book: call Lucy Murphy at the King William on 020 8500 4122
Geoff Davis, Captain of Toot Hill Golf Club, has chosen to support the Dream Factory for this Year:
Toot Hill Golf Club Captain's Ball in aid of The Dream Factory and Cancer Research to be held on Saturday, 24th January 2015 at the Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel, tickets £50 per head
For more information and tickets please contact Geoff Davis on 07733 366743 or email: Geoff.email@example.com
A Right Cockney Sing A Long Knees Up
For more information download pdf
The Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel held an Easter Party for all the Dream Children and their siblings. The day included lots of entertainment and an Easter Egg Hunt. Easter Eggs, over 600, were very kindly donated by local businesses, local schools and individuals.
2013 CHRISTMAS PARTY VIDEO
View lots of photos taken at the party »
J2L Cycle Challenge 2015
BMW Sytner's Business Development Manager, Kevin Hewitt-Devine, is undertaking a bike ride from John O'Groats to Lands End, on behalf of the Dream Factory. If you would like to sponsor him, his link is below, please visit his Just Giving page
Thank You to Honey Fenton
A huge thank you, once again, to Honey Fenton, who very kindly organised a raffle, all on her own, visiting local shops for prizes, and raised the wonderful sum of £263 for the Dream Factory.
This is the second fundraising event Honey has done on our behalf, she previously raised the magnificent sum of £595 by doing a sponsored walk to school for a week.
The Dream Factory were happy to grant Honey's sister, Hope, her dream of a hot tub in 2013 to provide some relief from the many disabilities she suffers from.
In return, Honey has made it her mission to give something back to the Dream Factory and we could not be more grateful or prouder of Honey and her fabulous achievements
Golfers' fundraising raises £7,100 for The Dream Factory
Golfers at Wanstead Golf Club have raised £7,100 for The Dream Factory
thanks to a year of fundraising.
The charity, which makes dreams come true for children and young adults
with life-limiting conditions, was chosen by club captain Tony Mansfield.
The fundraising year began with the Captain's Drive-In which was attended
by professional golfer and Dream Factory patron Simon Khan with a golf bag signed by Simon attracting a £1,000 bid in an auction.
Read More »
St.John's School Epping
Students from St.John's School Epping volunteered again this year to pack customers shopping at M&S Epping on December 22nd, 23rd and 24th on behalf of the Dream Factory, raising a fantastic £2,267 from extremely kind donations made by M&S customers.
A huge thank you to all those that took part in 3 fun 'packed' days. (pics attached).
We are sincerely grateful to St. John the Baptist Church, Epping, for choosing to support us as one of their chosen charities, following their Christmas Tree Festival this year. The event raised the magnificent sum of £1,948.81 for the Dream Factory, which will help us to continue to make children and young adult's dreams come true.
Charity ball set to raise over £70,000
The Dream Factory charity's fundraising ball looks set to have raised over £70,000.
X-Factor singer Lydia Lucy and acrobatic and dance act Donovan and Rebecca provided the entertainment at the star-studded event held at Orsett Hall, Orsett, on Saturday.
Insurance Fight Night 2014
A huge thank you to Lee Banks, who chose to support The Dream Factory at the Insurance Fight Night 2014 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in June this year and raised a fantastic £862.50 on our behalf.
The event was the first ever white collar fight night for the insurance industry. 18 contenders undertook 12 weeks of intensive training, before stepping into the ring for their bouts, which were professionally refereed, consisting of 3 rounds, each lasting up to 2 minutes.
Pre-fight interviews were even held before each bout to introduce the fighters and build the atmosphere. Profits from the evening, which included a 3 course black tie dinner & silent auction to raise funds, were split equally between the contenders' chosen charities.
Needless to say, our heartfelt thanks go to Lee for his fantastic efforts and congratulations too, as he was the victor in his fight!
International Doll Makers Society annual dinner
Avril Mills was delighted to attend, as a special guest, the International Doll Makers Society annual dinner at Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel this month. Members of the society from all over the world attend this event.
The IDMS have supported the Dream Factory for a number of years now and raised the magnificent sum of £1,730 this year.
Their continued support of our charity is very much appreciated and helps us continue our aim of granting dreams for the most deserving children."
Essex Boys & Girls Club
Essex Boys & Girls Club raised an amazing £537.88 on our behalf following their NCS Production at Thameside Theatre in Grays earlier in the year. Our sincere thanks to all the children who participated at this event, which Avril, our founder, had the pleasure of attending.
Five-a-side Football Tournament
Marks & Spencer Romford, held their first big event on our behalf on Sunday, 14th September, a Five-a-side Football Tournament. Over 20 teams took part from Marks & Spencer stores throughout the London and Greater London area.
We were delighted that the Romford Branch were victorious on the day. All monies raised from this event will be match funded and ongoing throughout the year.
The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills receives British Empire Medal
The founder of The Dream Factory charity, Avril Mills, has been presented with the British Empire Medal she was awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Avril, 55, received her honour from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex at a ceremony at Ingatestone Hall this evening (Tuesday).
She was accompanied by her daughter, Emma, son, Josh, parents Sara and Ron Kay. Also at the presentation were Lynda Clarke, chair of the Dream Factory trustees and charity patron Ruth Clarke.
Avril, who lives in Epping, said: "The honour of receiving such a special award from the Lord Lieutenant of Essex in front of my family is something I will remember for the rest of my life."
Avril founded the charity six years ago following the death of her nine-year-old son, Oliver, from leukaemia in 1999.
Avril, who has been invited to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party next summer as part of her award, was told of her honour on Friday, June 13, on what would have been Oliver's 24th birthday.
Miss Mills began fundraising in 1994 when she raised money for Barts and the London Hospital.
Marks & Spencer Romford
Marks and Spencer Romford have taken us on as their charity from October for a year
The Happy Days Golf Society
The Happy Days Golf Society held a Golf Day at Brentwood Golf Club in aid of The Dream Factory on 22nd August and raised the most fabulous sum of £1750.00 on our behalf.
They have also committed to support us again next year, for which we are extremely grateful.
These funds will help us continue to grant dreams and we are currently dealing with more than 60 new requests.
The PGA in Essex to support The Dream Factory charity
The PGA in Essex has decided to support the Dream Factory charity.
One way the charity will benefit through the arrangement is by receiving a donation for every birdie or eagle achieved by its members during the season.
The charity, founded by Epping mother Avril Mills, has been selected by current captain Mark Bishop, from Toot HIll Golf Club, near Ongar.
The Dream Factory will also be supported next year after the next captain - David Hawkins, from Wanstead Golf Club - agreed to continue the partnership for 2015.
Meanwhile Geoff Davis, the new captain at Toot Hil Golf Club is also supporting The Dream Factory during his year and top European tour golf pro Simon Khan, who plays at Toot Hill, is continuing to support the charity through his involvement as a patron.
PGA in Essex secretary Colin Reynolds said: "As an Essex-based charity it fitted our plans and having met with Avril recently I was impressed with her dedication and the wonderful work that the charity performs.
"I hope can add a little to help such a fantastic cause."
The PGA in Essex holds about 25 tournaments each season.
The flagship tournaments are the Essex Open at Wanstead Golf Club next May and the Essex PGA Championships at The Burstead Golf Club in October this year.
It is anticipated that The Dream Factory will have a presence at both these tournaments plus some of Pro-Am tournaments.
Mr Reynolds added: "In addition we plan to make a contribution based on the number of birdies and eagles our members achieve during the season.
"This amount will be decided prior to the start of our season in October. This means the more successful our Professionals are then the better it is for our chosen charity!"
Avril Mills said: "I'm delighted that the PGA in Essex have decided to support us - and the initiative which will see us benefit for every birdie and eagle recorded by its members is a great idea.
"We look forward to working with the PGA in Essex in the months ahead."
In memory Barbara Middleton.
The Dream Factory wish to express their sincere thanks to all those who made donations in memory of our former volunteer, Barbara Middleton.
The donations totalled £1,325.50, which shows how highgly respected and dearly thought of Barbara was to her many family and friends
Avril Mills receives British Empire Medal in Queen's Birthday Honours List
The founder of The Dream Factory charity, Avril Mills, has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Miss Mills, 55, has been honoured for 'charitable services to children and young people'.
Miss Mills was told of her honour Friday, June 13, on what would have been Oliver's 24th birthday.
She said: "I am just so shocked. This is the hardest secret I've ever had to keep. When I got the letter five weeks ago I had to read it three times to make sure I'd got it correct - and then I burst into tears."
She added: "Oliver is why I started the charity and it's lovely that the list is made public on his birthday.
"It really means so much. I invited my whole family tonight (Friday) so we could be together and tell them the news - it's just fantastic. I've kept the letter hidden all this time and have kept on thinking 'is it true'?"
Miss Mills added: "I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of my family, close friends and volunteers.
Barbara Middleton, Dream Factory volunteer
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our volunteers Barbara Middleton.
"She has been a volunteer since the start and was willing to help in whatever way she could from dream making to fundraising. She was one of the kindest and most thoughtful women I know and she will be greatly missed by her family and friends."
Lynda Clarke Chair of Trustees
MARRIOT HOTEL WALTHAM ABBEY
THE MARRIOT HOTEL WALTHAM ABBEY HAVE CHOSEN THE DREAM FACTORY AS THEIR CHARITY NEXT YEAR
They are hosting a Dream Childrens' Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Party at the hotel on Thursday 17th April
Our New Patron
We are delighted to announce that The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, has agreed to become a patron of The Dream Factory.
Epping Christmas Market
We will be at Epping Christmas Market on Friday, 6th December from 12 noon until 8.00pm, if you would like to come and support us.
We will be holding a children's raffle on our stall.
We are also holding 2 street collections: 14th December 2013 in Epping High Street and 21st December in Loughton High Street.
The Olli Construction Group
The Olli Construction Group based in E16, are now supporting the Dream Factory and have sponsored 2 recent dreams that we have granted, arranging for Ava and Camille to experience a Princess Makeover at Disneyland.
We would like to express our sincere thanks for this wonderful support.
EastEnders star supports charity founder's Arctic challenge
Comedian Terry Alderton - the newest star of the BBC soap EastEnders - visited an Epping gym to support The Dream Factory charity's founder Avril Mills as she prepares for a drama of her own.
Terry, whose first scene on EastEnders will be screened on November 5, is a patron of The Dream Factory....read more
Avril Mills meets soccer Heroes Jimmy Greaves and Ron Chopper Harris
Avril Mills meets soccer heroes Jimmy Greaves and Ron Chopper Harris at the Fabulous Orsett Hall Gray's, Essex which will be the venue for next years Dream Factory Xmas Dream Ball
November 22nd 2014
They presented Avril with a framed and signed collage of photographs of The Late Boxing champion Henry Cooper
A Very special dream for private mark allen
Soldier thanks "brilliant" charity for replacing items which were stolen as he underwent rehabilitation after he was badly injured in Afghanistan
PRIVATE MARK ALLEN
A SOLDIER who lost his legs while serving in Afghanistan has thanked The Dream Factory charity for replacing several items, including a laptop, which were stolen from his car while he was undergoing rehabilitation.
Mark, 22, was serving with 1 Royal Anglian in Afghanistan in 2010 when he was badly injured by an IED (improvised explosive device).
A double amputee above the knee, Mark has undergone extensive rehabilitation and treatment, including skin grafts.
It was while he was in London during the course of his treatment and rehab that Mark was left devastated when his car was broken into and his PS3 games console, television and laptop – which had many photographs, including images from his childhood and his time in the Army and in Afghanistan - were stolen while he attended an event hosted by a skin specialist surgeon.
The Dream Factory patron and 'Allo 'Allo actress Vicki Michelle was also at the party and learnt of the theft and decided to see if The Dream Factory could do anything help.
Today - at Mooro's Restaurant in Abridge Road, Chigwell – Mark met Vicki, The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills and dream co-ordinator Martin Bye to be presented with a laptop, television and PS3 games console.
Vicki said: "I think it's fantastic to be able to help and we have been able to replace quite a few of the items that had been stolen,
"The Dream Factory has been fantastic and wanted to help from the beginning ."
She added: "Mark must have been mortified to lose everything. The terrible thing is that Mark has lost all his photos and things like that."
In an appeal to the thief or anyone who knows where the stolen laptop is now, she added: "If anyone is out there who did take it or has recently acquired a Sony laptop. can we have the hard drive back."
Mark, who lives in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, said: "I'd like to thank everyone for what's happened. I couldn't believe it,
"It has been amazing. I'm very thankful. It's a brilliant the work that the charity does."
Avril Mills, who set up The Dream Factory to make dreams come true for children and young adults, said: "It was a pleasure to meet Mark and to be able to present him with the items.
"Mark has been through so much in such a short space of time that the charity is delighted to be able to help him rebuild his life. Mark is an inspiration to everyone.
Despite what he has been through he has managed to get rebuild his life with the support of his girlfriend Hayley, and he still has a smile on his face.
"We hope that our gifts to him will bring him many hours of pleasure as he continues his rehabilitation following his horrific injuries."
Avril & Martin's Husky Sled Challenge through the Arctic in -20 degrees!
PLEASE DONATE AND SUPPORT AVRIL AND MARTIN
TEXT gave70 with your amount £......... TO 70070
Charity duo Avril Mills founder of The Dream Factory & Martin Bye Dream coordinator are to take part in Husky Sled Challenge for The Dream Factory
The Dream Factory charity founder Avril Mills and dream co-ordinator Martin Bye are to take part in the ultimate extreme challenge to raise money for The Dream Factory.
The pair want to raise £8,000 by taking on the Husky Sled Challenge in the Arctic which will see them drive a pack of huskies some 156 miles over seven days.
The challenge, next April, will start in Norway and finish in Sweden.
Avril said: "This will certainly test our physical and mental strength in some of the most extreme conditions known to man.
"We will be travelling the distance from London to Torquay in temperatures averaging -20 degrees. This is no ordinary charity challenge."
The fundraisers will have to put up their own tents, cook their own food and look after their team of huskies.
Avril said this is a hands on' extreme wilderness challenge if ever there was one, especially as I don't like the cold, I'm not a fan of dogs and haven't got a clue how to put up a tent!"
Avril founded The Dream Factory in 2008 in memory of her son, Oliver, who died from leukemia at the age of nine.
also follow The Dream Factory on Twitter - @avrilsdream
Charity golf day raises £9,595 for The Dream Factory
A golf day held at Woolston Manor Golf Club, Chigwell, on Friday raised
£9,595 for The Dream Factory.
The Crystal Golf Day was organised by Danny Talbot, director of
Romford-based Crystal Windows and featured a dinner and charity auction, as
well as a round of golf at the Abridge Road course.
Comedian Terry Alderton, who has become a patron of the charity, acted as
MC and auctioneer at the dinner.
Among the items going under the hammer were a signed Tottenham Hotspur
shirt which raised £600 and a golf lesson from PGA professional and The
Dream Factory patron Simon Khan which fetched £500.
A bottle of House of Commons wine signed by Prime Minister David Cameron
went for £150 as the auction alone raised £5.300.
The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: "It was a truly amazing day for
the charity and I would like to thank everyone involved for helping to make
the event such a success.
"Special thanks go to Danny Talbot, who organised the event, Terry Alderton
for his great input into the evening for his continued support of the
charity and to the Dream Factory volunteers who braved the cold out on the
course throughout the day.
"Without their support it would not be possible for The Dream Factory to
continue to make dreams come true for children and young adults with
View photos »
Epping Forest District Council chairman supports The Dream Factory
A cheque for £1,500 was presented to The Dream Factory on Friday by Epping
Forest District Council chairman Brian Rolfe.
The money was presented to charity trustee Linda Clarke at the council's
annual civic awards ceremony held at Gilwell Park, Chingford.
Mr Rolfe has chosen The Dream Factory charity and Chigwell Riding Trust for
Special Needs as his charities for the year.
The cheque is the latest donation made to the charity through the
chairman's charity appeal.
Money raised by the chairman has already paid for Epping teenager Piers
Bloomfield, who suffers from cerebral palsy, and his family to meet West
End musical star Lee Mead, and to be treated to a special meal in London
The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: "The support we have received
from Brian Rolfe and the council during his year in office has been amazing.
"Mr Rolfe's fundraising efforts have already enabled us to make a dream
come true (the Lee Mead dream) and now with these additional funds we can
continue to make dreams come true."
NEW PATRON - PGA golf pro Simon Khan
The Dream Factory is very proud to announce our new patron is Epping's own PGA golf pro Simon Khan.
Simon spends a lot of the year on the golf circuit abroad. He has the Dream Factory logo on his golf bag and has just donated £10 from every birdie and has donated £1,970 to help us grant more dreams. He also donated his driver and signed it for our golf day.
A Big thank you
We would like to thank all our supporters and patrons. We have granted so many dreams!!!
In 2012 we have had a very successful ball and a fabulous childrens Christmas party and so many of you have chosen us as your charity of the year.
We look forward to working with you all for many more years to come.
The Dream Factory was featured in SCENE Magazine.
Read the article by clicking on the photo below (PDF format)
The Dream Factory charity holds Christmas party
Some 70 children were the guests of The Dream Factory charity when it held its Christmas party at Mooro's Restaurant, Chigwell.
Everyone had a fantastic time!
The Dream Factory's 'Putting on the Glitz' charity ball
A host of celebrities were among the guests at The Dream Factory's 'Putting on the Glitz' charity ball.
The event, at the Prince Regent Hotel, Woodford Bridge,on Saturday raised £34,000 for the charity.
Read more & view photos taken on the night
Jack & Emily
Today Sunday I went to Northwield, Essex where seven year old Emilly and eleven year old Jack Parr 11
raised £402 to grant a dream for a special dream child - a bicycle and helmet.
The children sold sausage and mash portions, had a cake stand, organised games and a bouncy castl. They also sold Dream Factory pens.
They are also having a cake stall at Jack's school St Nicholas in Harlow. By the time they've finished they will of raised enough to grant 2 dreams for 2 dream children
PATSY PALMER RAISING AWARENESS ON ALL STAR MR & MRS
Patsy Palmer together with her husband Richard raised £5000 on All Star Mr & Mrs
A very big thank you to Patsy Palmer and Richard for going on the show raising awareness and raising enough money to grant lots more dreams!
Also, Patsy Palmer will be appearing as a "Guest DJ" at The Putting on the Glitz Ball in November
Avril's Interview with The Ilford Recorder
Recent Fundraising Events
EPPING FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN TO SUPPORT THE DREAM FACTORY
Brian Rolfe, the newly elected chairman of Epping Forest District Council has chosen the Dream Factory as one of his charities which will benefit from fundraising during his year in office. Fundraising events will be held over the next 12 months to support our charity along with the Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs.
Avril Mills said "This is a fantastic opportunity for us, and we are extremely proud to have been chosen, particularly alongside Chigwell Riding Trust, as we have recently granted dreams for some of their children. Having lived in Epping for many years now, it is a great honour for our charity to be supported by my local council."
the disney wish programme
The Dream Factory are very proud to announce that we are now working directly with THE DISNEY WISH PROGRAMME at DisneyLand Paris
This week Avril, Martin and Sue were invited to go and meet an executive from Disneyland Paris.
During the day we were shown hotel rooms where our dream children will stay and other facilities in the hotel
We were taken to the lovely Disney lounge , where the dream children will be able to rest during there very busy and exciting day in the Disney park.
We also met some of the very special disney team that will create special dream requests FOR DREAM FACTORY CHILDREN
Read more & view photos
SIMON KHAN SUPPORTS THE DREAM FACTORY
Top European Tour Golf Professional Simon Khan has the Dream Factory Logo displayed on his tailor made golf bag!