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Make-A-Wish create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.


Registered charity no. 295672

Member since April 2018

About us

Every day, the lives of 15 families in the UK are changed forever when a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. From the moment that news sinks in, the innocence of childhood and the simple pleasures of family life are replaced by worry, treatment, routine appointments, financial issues, and isolation.

Those children need hope - something positive to look forward to. A wish provides that hope.

By supporting Make-A-Wish, you will help us reach as many of those children as we can.

Why A Wish?

A wish is an empowering way someone to reclaim the innocence of childhood by letting their imagination run wild and choosing an experience that’s tailor-made just for them.

A wish is a time to forget worries and create joyful memories for the whole family to cherish.

Families tell us that when their child’s wish is granted, it gives them the strength to face the many challenges ahead. It inspires them to look beyond the limits of their illness and renews the family bonds that are so crucial to their resilience.

Doctors tell us that having a wish for their patient to look forward to, helps them to do their job. Volunteers, fundraisers and staff tell us that seeing the joy on a child’s face when their wish is granted, and knowing you’ve made a difference, is absolutely priceless. Read about some of our wishes here

Our Wishes

We are led by the child to understand what is unique about them and their aspirations so that we can craft a truly wonderful, life-changing experience for them. We put the child at the heart of their own experience, but we are unique in involving the whole household in a wish in the way that we do.

Every step of a family’s involvement with us is about the child and the impact a wish will have on their life. Then our programme of insight and research is enhancing our understanding

about the impact of a wish, so that we can refine our approach and help children get the most out of their wish.

A wish is more than a moment or a day in a child’s life – it affects the weeks, months, and years afterwards. Alongside hope and happy memories sits a new confidence, resilience, and self-worth - because if a wish is possible, anything is possible.

A wish improves the lives of siblings and parents as well. By helping us to grant wishes, you are part of that ripple effect – bringing inspiration, joy and respite to children and families who desperately need it right now.

Our Story

Inspired by Chris Greicius, a young boy in the US who had been diagnosed with leukaemia and was granted a wish that brought a city to a standstill, Make-A-Wish UK was formed by a group of volunteers in Camberley, Surrey, in 1986.

We granted our first wish to a boy called Anthony from Liverpool and it involved a certain theme park! We have since granted more than 14,000 life-changing wishes and on our 25th anniversary, we earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for creating the biggest ever pass-the-parcel!

Now based in Reading, Berkshire, we have a modest staff of 40 and a volunteer force of around 800 people who are still at the heart of our organisation. But demand for wishes has outstripped our fundraising efforts and coronavirus has provided yet another challenge, so our need for volunteers and your generous donations has never been greater.

Your Support

Organising wishes involves not just time and money but passion and commitment. Our networks and communities - which include health and social care professionals, volunteers, corporate partners, fundraisers, and former wish families - are dedicated to making wishes become a reality.

Whether you enjoy video gaming, baking, running, cycling, the arts, gala dinners or skydiving – you can support us in a way that suits you.

Find out how to get involved here: