Surprise deliveries for Make-A-Wish children

Posted on 27th May 2020

News release, photos and video for immediate use – 27th May 2020

Around 1700 seriously ill children, whose wishes are on hold due to the coronavirus, have been sent surprise goody bags by the children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK and the supermarket Morrisons.

Parents and carers captured their children’s reactions on camera and - judging by their reactions in this video - snacks, colouring books and bubbles proved to be the most popular items received!

The supermarket’s regional Community Champions in England, Wales and mainland Scotland hand-picked items from their stores based on suggestions made by Make-A-Wish’s child-led STARboard - a group of 10 former wish children tasked with advising the charity.

The doorstep deliveries brought joy to the children whose wishes are waiting because of social isolation restrictions – an experience many have already been through, or are having to go through again, because their medical condition makes them vulnerable.

Zakk is just one of those wish children - pictured with his sister Annabelle. They live in Scunthorpe with baby sister Esther and their parents.

Their mum Elizabeth told the charity: “Thank you so much for your kindness! Zakk loves his goody bag that two lovely people from Morrisons just delivered, and his sisters will enjoy sharing it. They are in the back garden currently playing with the bubbles! You can see by their smiles how chuffed they are! God bless you for spreading such kindness and joy.”

Make-A-Wish Chief Executive Jason Suckley said: “We know how important it is for the families we support to have something positive on the horizon to look forward to. It’s heart-breaking for us that we can’t provide that in the shape of their wish right now, so to be able to bring a smile to children’s faces thanks to Morrisons’ generosity is absolutely fantastic!”

Every day, the lives of 15 families in the UK are changed forever when their child is diagnosed with a serious illness. Medical appointments become the utmost priority with the innocence of childhood and simple family pleasures taking a backseat. A wish aims to bring back that childhood and create memories to treasure.

To find out more about the charity, visit make-a-wish.org.uk or follow the charity on social media @makeawishuk  or via the hashtag #wishesarewaiting

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Related Resources

Link to video of childrens' reactions upon receiving their gifts

Link to an image of Zakk and his sister
(Please contact us for further images if required)

Media contact

Joanne Porter
joanne.porter@makeawish.org.uk
07739 661320
Make-A-Wish UK, 7th Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, RG1 1LX

About Make-A-Wish UK

Make-A-Wish was established in the UK in 1986 to provide the opportunity for children aged 3-17 yrs, who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, to choose and plan a special experience when so much else is dictated to them by medical treatment. A wish provides hope, something positive to look forward to and the chance to be a child first and a patient second. 

The organisation, based in Reading, receives no Government funding - registered charity numbers 295672 in England and SC037479 in Scotland - and currently has 2,000 wishes on hold because of the coronavirus.

Notes to editors

As some children and young people are not made aware of the exact nature of their diagnosis and to respect families’ own approach to their situation, we ask that the phrase ‘terminally ill’ is not used and that terms like critical or serious illness are used instead.  

Please refer to us as Make-A-Wish® UK in the first instance to distinguish us from affiliates in other countries. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable.

Please hyperlink to our website (https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk) when you mention Make-A-Wish online.

You can also find us on social media @makeawishuk