Apply for a wish

Do you know a child fighting a critical illness, who could benefit from a life-changing wish?

We accept referrals from parents or guardians, medical professionals – or even the children themselves. If you have any questions about the process, give us a call on 0118 304 2776 or email referrals@makeawish.org.uk and we'll be happy to help.

What is a wish?

Our wishes give seriously ill children the chance to do something extraordinary. For many children, it's an opportunity to imagine something just for them – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Every wish is as unique as the child who created it. Our experienced Wish Visitors visit a child, spending time with them to find out their One True Wish – what matters most to them in the world, and what matters most to them about their wish.

Leah with some papers being a teacher

Leah wished to be a teacher for the day

We’re keen to get the wish capture experience right, because a child’s One True Wish is a precious gift that helps build lasting memories, confidence and resilience.

Tough times lead a child to be eligible for a wish, and families often suffer as a result of a child being seriously ill, which is why it's important to us to include them in a child’s wish, too.1

Wishes are often around four key themes

I wish to meet...

To meet someone special or important like a hero, celebrity or influencer.

I wish to be...

To be someone or something – such as a superhero, princess or a character.

I wish to go...

To go somewhere and spend time doing something special.

I wish to have...

To own something special or particular like a toy.

Whatever the child’s wish, we make the experience a truly individual and memorable one.

Read about some of the wishes we have granted

Liam standing to attention outside of Buckingham Palace alongside a soldier

Liam wished to be a guard at Buckingham Palace

What are the criteria?

  • A child needs to be a UK resident, aged between 3 and 17 years, and fighting a critical illness. You can see the list of conditions that fall into our eligibility criteria by clicking here
  • A child shouldn't have received a wish from us before or from another wishgranting organisation. We're only able to grant one wish for any child.
  • We can accept an application if we receive it on the child's third birthday, or before the day of their 18th birthday.
Emilia-Mae meeting Mr Tumble

Emilia-Mae wished to meet Mr Tumble

How do I refer a child?

Complete our form online. We'll then be in contact if the child is eligible or not for wish.

If you have any problems completing the form, or would prefer a paper copy, please contact us on 0118 304 2776 or email referrals@makeawish.org.uk and we'll send you a form in the post.

Please post the form back to: Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, Seventh Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1LX

Portrait of Dewi behind steering wheel smiling

Dewi wished to have a Nuremberg racing experience

What happens next?

If the child is eligible for a wish, we'll call the family asking for further information about the child.

We'll then arrange for our specially-trained volunteers to visit the child to find out about their One True Wish.

Please note, there are restrictions on some kinds of wishes. Wishes are usually restricted to within Europe, and we're unable to provide some items such as disability-related equipment.

If your wish falls into a category with restrictions, we’ll share more with you so you can understand why.

Read more about the wish journey

There are two ways to refer a child:

Apply online

You can complete our online form. This should take no more than 10 minutes to fill in.

Download a referral form

Alternatively, you can download our referral form and post it back to us. The child's parent/guardian needs to sign the Medical Release Form. Please return the form to: Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, Seventh Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1LX or scan and email it back to referrals@makeawish.org.uk.