TV documentary about children's charity Make-A-Wish UK

Posted on 5th Dec 2019

The children’s charity Make-A-Wish® UK has opened its doors to cameras for the first time for a two-part television documentary about its work being broadcast on Channel 5 next week.

Independent Production Company Tern TV took up residence at the charity’s headquarters in Reading from July to December this year to follow the work of its Wishgranting staff and to capture the moment some of those wishes became a reality.

Make A Wish for Christmas is being broadcast on Channel 5 at 9pm on 12th December with a second episode on 18th December at 8pm.

The wishes featured include a wish to visit Dinosaur Land, a wish to go to Milan Fashion Week, a wish to meet Father Christmas at Lapland, to have a Manchester City Football Club experience, be a princess for the day and have tea with Princess Ariel from Frozen, to go to Disneyland, to feed the tigers and to meet the presenters of the programme The Yorkshire Vets.

Make-A-Wish UK Chief Executive Jason Suckley, who was filmed running a fundraising half marathon for the charity, said: “There are around 49,000 children in the UK living with a critical illness. It is impossible to imagine a more difficult circumstance for a child and their family. We believe that every child has a dream or an aspiration that is unique to them. We work with the child to make this a reality. We know that, when we do, it gives them hope, strength to face the many challenges ahead and happiness, as well as a lifetime of memories.

“We have recently experienced a significant increase in the number of children turning to us for a wish – around 1400 in the past four months alone. Our greatest challenge is to reach every one of these children. We can’t do this alone. We hope that the stories shown in this documentary will inspire viewers to join us in this challenge. Together we can reach every child.”

Make-A-Wish UK is a registered charity that was established in the UK in 1986. Since then it has granted close to 14,000 wishes and it receives no Government or lottery funding - registered charity number: 295672 / SC037479.

To find out more about the charity, visit make-a-wish.org.uk or phone tel:01276 40 50 60

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About Channel 5

Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third latest commercial TV station.  Launched in March 1997 Channel 5 has been owned by Viacom International Media Networks since September 2014.  Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Spike, 5Select and My5 TV reach 3 in 4 of the UK viewing public each month with a diverse schedule including issue-led documentaries, popular factual, accessible history, stunning natural history, inclusive entertainment and reality, top level sport, high quality scripted programming and critically acclaimed children’s and news programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 has led on societal issues from inequality to inner city gang life, homelessness to mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation.  My5 is an on-demand service allowing viewers to watch content online for free from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5Spike. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald and was named ‘Channel of the Year’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

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