A festive final push!
We are incredibly grateful that we have almost reached 50% of our £30,000 target- and we want to say a huge thank you for all your support.
Our Crowdfunder is set to finish in January, and we still have £2,000 of match-funding available from the BA Better World Community Fund. Any donations up to £250 made before January 7th 2024 will be matched by the BA Community Fund, doubling your donation.
Who we are
Rays of Sunshine grants magical wishes every day to seriously ill children across the UK. Right now, there are around 85,000 seriously ill children and young people in the UK. These are children whose lives revolve around doctor’s appointments; hospital stays and treatment instead of school and time with family and friends. They can feel isolated from their peers and forgotten about. Having a wish granted gives the child and their family something positive to focus on, something to look forward to and helps build confidence back when they need it the most.
The Power of a Wish
A wish means children get a moment to think about nothing else in the world but their happiness. It’s a chance to spread some sunshine (and a little bit of magic!) for young people, helping them to forget about doctors and treatment.
Since 2003, we have granted more than 8000 wonderful wishes. Our wishes are as unique and extraordinary as the children we meet. Whether a child wants to be a fireman, meet their favourite celebrity or a real-life mermaid or even the Loch Ness Monster, we work hard to make that wish come true.
We believe these moments of joy are so important in recovery too - 97% of doctors who referred patients to us found that their patients were feeling much more positive. They found that they responded much better to treatment which greatly helped their recovery *
*YouGov survey 2018 of paediatric consultants and play specialists
Khaliq’s wish was to be a firefighter for the day. His mum Belynda said this was because the little boy believed firefighters “were real-life superheroes”. Our wish granters organised a VIP training day for Khaliq at his local fire station, where he rode in the fire engine, was taught how to use a fire hose and even got to meet the team’s fire dogs.
Khaliq was introduced to Rays of Sunshine after being diagnosed with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), a rare form of cancer. After spending a lot of time in hospital to treat his illness, Khaliq’s family were over the moon to see him so excited while on his wish.
Mum Belynda said, "I can’t thank you enough for making his little wish come true – his face was the best picture and he was definitely excited, as you could see by the jumping! He said that it was the best day of his life when he got home."
We made Alfie’s dream come true when we organized for him and his family to attend Leeds United’s league match at home. Alfie and his family were chauffeured to the stadium by limo and treated to a free meal after the game to cap their evening.
That wasn’t all though. We organized for Alfie to meet some of the players pitch side. There he was gifted a Leeds United shirt signed by his favorite player Brendan Aaronson.
Alfie’s Mum said “Everything was just perfect from the limo ride to the meal; everything ran like clockwork, and you made one little boy’s dreams come true. The day was just perfect, and Alfie got given another new shirt and it was signed by his favourite player Brendan Aaronson, he could not stop smiling and as he said the best day of his life and it will stay with him forever.
Why We Need Your Help Now
During the pandemic, we adapted our services as best we could. Some wishes had to be postponed or cancelled, but the need for our magic didn’t stop! We’ve seen a real increase in demand for these special moments and we need your help to reach more children across the UK.
Last year, we granted around 350 wishes but in 2023-2024, with your help, we are determined to grant over 500 for a record-breaking year. This crowdfunding appeal will play an important part as we are looking to raise £30,000 to grant an additional 18 magical wishes in 2024. This will mean even more precious moments for seriously ill children up to the age of 18.
Grishma was diagnosed with Langerhans' cell histiocytosis when she was two years old, and her family was introduced to Rays of Sunshine while she was undergoing treatment at Great Ormond Street. Grishma’s illness meant she had spent a lot of time in hospital, which made it hard to play and laugh like other children her age.
A lifelong Peppa Pig fan, Grishma’s ultimate wish was to go to Peppa Pig World. Our wish granters organised Grishma’s trip to the theme park, but they didn’t stop there. We organised a very special toy delivery for Grishma’s home, delivered by non-other than Princess Elsa from Frozen! The gifts included magic wands and a Peppa Pig bicycle.
Grishma’s mum Geeta said, “It was so heart-warming to see how excited she was when Elsa knocked on our door, she was literally dancing with joy. These are memories that we all still treasure today as a family.”
Thank you for taking the time to read our children’s stories. Your donations mean we could grant even more magical wishes for children like Khaliq, Alfie and Grishma. The £30,000 raised in this Crowdfunder could provide us with the money to ensure each wish is as special and unique as the children we support.