Make-A-Wish in the UK
Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK is a charity with a single purpose – we grant magical wishes to children and young people aged 3-17 fighting life-threatening conditions.
Make-A-Wish has granted more than 8,000 magical wishes over more than 26 years. We know that our wishes transform lives!
- Over 20,000 children in the UK are living with a life-threatening condition, a figure validated by research commissioned by Make-A-Wish. At a human level, we believe few things can be more important, or more deserving, than giving a seriously ill child the chance to have their wish come true, with all the hope, expectation and happiness that brings.
- For many families the Make-A-Wish memory can be the last happy memory they have of their child having fun in a magical world, surrounded by family and friends – rather than memories of days and weeks of painful treatments and hospitalisation. The memory of the wish may be of their child laughing and enjoying being a princess or zoo keeper for the day or meeting a favourite celebrity. In years to come, the family can look back and remember that special time.
- Make-A-Wish is expert in wishgranting; it is all that we do, each and every day.
This year we hope to grant 900 wishes and need to raise £7 million to continue granting wishes in the future.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK was launched in June 1986 and for the first six years we operated from offices above a shop in Camberley, Surrey. We are still in Camberley today.
- Four wishes were granted in the first year, 13 in the second and by the end of the third year, 100 wishes had been granted.
- The very first wish was for Anthony from Liverpool who, with his family, went to meet the Disney characters in Disney World, Florida.
- Our 100th wish in 1989 was also the first wish to be granted in Scotland. 16 year old Clark from Balerno wished to go on a US aircraft carrier and see an F14 jet. This very exciting wish took place in the Mediterranean only two weeks before Heads of State joined the ship for a summit meeting.
- In November 1989 the first wish in Wales was granted. 14 year old Louise from Rhyl went with her family to experience all the sights and thrills of Disney World, Florida.
- Also that month, the first wish in Northern Ireland was granted. 16 year old Gary from Benburb wished to visit his uncle who worked at Disneyland, California. Very sadly, Gary died a short while after his wish.
- 1,000th wish – Jessica, aged ten and from Grimsby, had her wish, to meet the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, granted at a very special occasion – Make-A-Wish UK's 10th anniversary party. The huge Beast, as tall as the ceiling, entered the room carrying a red rose. He approached Jessica, who was dressed in her pretty yellow Beauty dress, and invited her onto the dance floor. There wasn't a dry eye in the room!
- 5,000th wish – ten year old Ciara from Wigan, living with a brain tumour, had her wish granted in August 2008 when she was a model for the day in London.
- 7,000th wish – 16 year old Marcus from Goole, a keen physics student, lives with a Brain Tumour. He had an unusual wish – he wanted to visit CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) in Geneva. Marcus was able to meet some very distinguished physicists during a vist that was arranged in August 2011 with the help of colleagues from Make-A-Wish Switzerland.
- 8,000th wish – 15 year old Mischka, who lives with cancer, lost her hair due to her treatment and was bullied at school as a result, causing her to lose confidence. We granted her wish for a confidence-boosting makeover day with Nicky Hambleton-Jones, and she really enjoyed the chance to look and feel great again.
- 9,000th wish – 15 year old Claudia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (a type of cancer) in June 2012. She suffered from infections during treatment and was put in isolation for three months - a gruelling experience. Claudia has a great interest in fashion and would like to do something health and beauty related in the coming years - so we granted her wish for a MAC makeover and personal shopping experience!
Make-A-Wish is about passion, expertise, trust and fairness. Our wishes are about magic, hope, smiles and memories.