Right now, around 63,000 children in the UK are eligible for a wish because they have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. From the moment they are diagnosed, the simple pleasures of childhood and family life are replaced by worry, disruption, medical appointments, financial worries and isolation.
Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK exists to put those issues to one side by empowering a child with the chance to choose a wish that is unique to them, when so much else has been decided for them because of their health needs. In doing so, a wish creates hope, happiness and memories for the whole family to cherish.
Our research is building our understanding of the impact of a wish, so we can continually help children and their loved ones to gain the most out of their experience.
We have learnt that when a wish is granted, it inspires a child to believe that anything is possible and it helps to restore some of the childhood that they missed out on because treatment for their condition interrupted school or typical family activities.
A wish broadens horizons and is something to look forward to during tough times. More than that, a wish provides respite and distraction, helps family bonding and wellbeing, inclusion and social engagement. A wish is more than a moment in a child’s life – it fills the days, months and years afterwards. Alongside joy, hope and happy memories sits a new confidence, resilience and self-worth. A wish improves the lives of siblings and parents as well.
Wishes take time and money to organise. They require creativity, passion and commitment. Our networks and communities – health and social care professionals, volunteers, partners, fundraisers, supporters, wish families – are key to making children's wishes become a reality.
We’re led by the child and their experience, seeking to understand what’s unique about them, so we can craft an experience that will excite and engage them.
Everything about the Make-A-Wish experience is about the child and the impact a wish will have on their life. We’re unique in putting the child at the heart of their own experience. But we know that involving a child’s family in the unique way that we do, delivers a big impact.
Our leading reputation – built on a global partnership of wishgranting best practice – is vital to our ability to reach children, inspire others and build relationships.
What we do
Together we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Whether it's starring in their own films, feeding tigers, meeting a celebrity hero, or having a bedroom redesigned just so; our wishes are varied, personal and life-changing. We go above and beyond to grant amazing wishes to amazing children when they need it most. Because a child's life shouldn't be about illness, hospitals and diagnosis - it should be about wonder, joy and hope.
We've seen first-hand how a wish can provide respite from the daily struggles that come with a critical condition and that is the driving force behind why we continue to do what we do.
But we can't make these life-changing experiences happen without the generosity of people like you. Thank you.