STARboard finally meet in person

On 20th November 2021, STARboard, our Children and Young People's Board, met for the first time in person at our Hub in Reading after working together virtually for 18 months. It was a jam-packed day of celebration, socialising and helping to Light up the Darkness for other wish children and their families.

First time meeting in person

The group came together after catching flights and trains from across the UK with parents and siblings and got to see each other without a screen for the first time after forming the first STARboard at Make-A-Wish in May 2020. One of the members, Josh, joined virtually, due to personal circumstances, using our AV1 No Isolation robot that acted as his eyes, ears and voice on the day to ensure that he was included and able to participate in all of the activities throughout the day.

What we got up to

To kick off the day, the group took part in icebreakers, as they do at each monthly meeting, and got to know each other as friends as well as board members. After bonding over their photo wall and a cuppa, the group met two of the trustees at Make-A-Wish UK and watched the reaction of Make-A-Wish International’s CEO to their impressive work and his plans to implement STARboards across other Make-A-Wish affiliates after being so inspired by them.

After some lunch and more time to chill out together, the group were briefed and began their Wish Team Challenge in which they used their unique experience and expertise to help enhance the wish experience for other children and young people and their families. Getting closer to the granting of wishes was something STARboard were eager to do, so this was the perfect opportunity to flex their skills and allow them to see the work and effort involved in planning and granting a wish.

Collectively, the group worked on how to improve the anticipation of a wish and how to enhance the impact of a wish after it has been granted. In addition, they helped prepare anticipation treats for the children and their families and even had a go at fundraising and encouraging Gift-In-Kind donations from supporters. Some of the team also looked at how to make certain wishes more inclusive and how we could enable more children to choose wishes that are currently not accessible due to their needs.

The efforts of STARboard will now feed directly into the Wishgranting team and their research and ideas will be built upon and explored to enhance the wish journey for more children and young people living with critical conditions.

STARboard member, Sara tells us how being a board member has helped her personally

A successful day

The day was rounded off in the top floor lounge with pizza and some magic tricks from professional magician and wish mum Jayne. After a joyful and productive day, the members continued to catch up, get to know each other and strengthen the bonds between them as wish children, STARboard members, and friends.

Check out what members, Sam and Sara have to say about the most unexpected thing that has come from being a member of STARboard.

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