Make-A-Wish UK announces funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery on World Wish Day

To celebrate World Wish Day, players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Make-A-Wish UK with a three-year funding promise, which will help to grant thousands of wishes for critically ill children across the UK.

Thanks to the generous support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, Make-A-Wish UK has been awarded £900,000 over three years.

29 April every year marks World Wish Day, the anniversary of the day the first wish was granted over 40 years ago. This World Wish Day Make-A-Wish UK are also marking the first wish that has been granted for 5-year-old Everett, thanks to the funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Everett looks out of the train window at the countryside with his dad

Everett has been a huge fan of trains all of his life. Living near London Kings Cross Station, the family have enjoyed tours of the trains over the years and Everett loves to make an adventure out of a train journey. Everett's lifelong passion for trains came to life as he had his wish granted to embark on a journey aboard the Caledonian Sleeper Train to Scotland.

“He has all the train toys- we can’t get enough of them! Every time we go to the hospital, we bring his train and train track toys, they’re his go-to to cheer him up!” said mum Karen. “After a long period of being in hospital, we didn’t know how well he would cope going back in to school, but the teachers got out the train tracks to make him feel better.”

In January of 2023, at the age of three, Everett was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma brain tumour and in October of 2023, the family were given the heartbreaking news that there were no more curative treatment options for Everett and that he had a life expectancy of months rather than years.

"Everett has been bombarded with non-stop difficulties. He was diagnosed last January and then had a big operation. After this was a sequence of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He’s missed a lot of school because of his treatment, which really impacted him because he loves school. He’s also missed out on spending time with his friends. On-top of this his brain tumour has affected him physically, so a lot of things that most 5-year-olds do takes him a lot more effort to do. With his Hickman line in it was restrictive as he couldn't swim, which he loves doing. He also found dressing changes extremely distressing. When he was going through treatment it was hard to travel. He’s now receiving palliative care, so we hope to travel abroad in the next couple of months.”

For his wish the family were treated to an overnight trip on the Caledonian sleeper train from London Euston to Fort William where Everett was given a private tour and even welcomed into the train drivers cabin and shown all the buttons that make the train work.

Everett being shown round the control room of the sleeper train
Everett plays with the controls in the control room of the sleeper train

“He’s had such a tough time - it's been unimaginably hard for a five-year-old.” Explains mum. “There's so little to look forward to, but his wish gave us something to get excited about. To find an excuse and to focus on him is so nice and his wish has made him feel so special after going through so much!”

“The train trip was so much fun! The people from the Caledonian Sleeper Train met us at the platform and gave us a private tour where he got to sit in the driver's seat and blow the train horn! The highlight of the trip has been the incredible scenery of the highlands. Everett had the best time rolling around the hills and disrupting the peace with his excited squawking!”


"We’re delighted to receive this funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and this award marks a significant milestone for Make-A-Wish," says Jason Suckley, CEO of Make-A-Wish UK. "Sadly, the number of children who, like Everett, turn to Make-A-Wish UK with less a year to live is three times higher than it was in 2022.

“The demand for wishes is outpacing our best efforts to keep up so it’s taking us longer to grant wishes. But the reality is that many families simply can’t wait this long. Wishes have the power to rescue the magic of childhood, providing an escape from the gruelling daily reality of ongoing treatments and endless hospital stays. The funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and awarded by the Postcode Care Trust will help us to grant more wishes for families and provide strength during their toughest times. We’re incredibly grateful for their support.”

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised an incredible £300,000 in 2024 to help Make-A-Wish UK bring some sparkle to the lives of children living with a critical condition and that even more families will receive the opportunity to have their wish granted.”

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