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PROUD CHARITY PARTNERS OF MAKE-A-WISH UK

Q&A with Make-A-Wish UK

Find out more about our charity partner, Make-A-Wish UK, and the mission you’ll be supporting when you place an order with us.

To celebrate the exciting formation of our charity partnership with Make-A-Wish UK and the launch of our special A Little ‘Wish’ Bracelet (URL TBC) – with 100% of profits supporting Make-A-Wish UK - we sat down with Wishgranter, Georgia, to shine a light on the incredible work the team at Make-A-Wish UK do to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Click below to find out more about how we’re supporting Make-A-Wish UK in its mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Our Charity Partnership With Make-A-Wish UK

HOW DID MAKE-A-WISH UK COME ABOUT? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE CHARITY.

HEAR A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THE CHARITY.

The first ever Wish granted was in America, in 1980. It was this wish story that inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish, the largest wish-granting organisation in the world. 7-year-old Chris, who was being treated for Leukaemia at the time, dreamt of being a police officer for the day. Chris’ local community all rallied around to make this dream a reality for Chris, just a few days before he passed away. Following Chris’ special wish, Make-A-Wish UK was established in 1986 and we are now one of nearly 50 affiliates across the world.

WHAT DOES BEING A WISH GRANTER MEAN TO YOU?

Being a Wishgranter is a privilege. I am honoured to be involved in creating lasting memories for children and their families. The best part of the job is talking to the children, or their parents, hearing their inspirational stories and then being able to go on to create amazing and unique experiences for them. It is such a unique role that enables me to see the kindness and generosity of individuals and companies and work with some amazing partners to grant wishes and build supplier relationships.

WHAT BENEFITS HAVE YOU SEEN FIRST-HAND FOR A CHILD WHO HAS A WISH GRANTED?

I was lucky enough to attend one of our group wishes, which was to go to Lapland, Finland. As a team we organised for almost 100 wish families to attend and to see the results of this wish first-hand was incredible. Right from the start of a child’s journey with Make-A-Wish, we aim to provide a magical experience and really build up the anticipation before the wish takes place. For our Lapland wishes, we were able to send out ‘letters from Santa and his Elves’, which we sprinkled in glitter and fake snow and posted to each child. This really helped to build excitement for the wish. To then see the children take that first step out of the airport in Finland and be surrounded by beautiful, untouched snow was so magical. I was able to have conversations with lots of the families throughout the trip and so many said that the wish had given them the confidence to travel together more as a family – as many of them they had never travelled abroad before. It was amazing to see first-hand the children’s joy, as they were able to forget about their conditions, even if for a short while, and really enjoy themselves.

CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY AS A WISHGRANTER?

As a Wishgranter, every day can be different which I love. We make lots of phone calls to our wish children and their families to really understand the ‘why of the wish’. We aim to find out as much information about the child as possible to ensure the wish is special for them. Once a child has decided on their wish, I get to work making bookings. A lot of our wishes are reliant on the generosity of the public and so a lot of time can be spent contacting companies to see if they would be willing to help us grant a wish, whether that be through donating their services or offering us a discount. We also partner with many wonderful suppliers who help us grant our more popular wishes. A Wishgranter can have as many as 60 wishes on the go, so we are very busy!

WHAT IS AN ANTICIPATION PACK AND HOW IS ONE CREATED?

An anticipation pack is something we send out to children roughly 2 weeks before their wish to build the excitement. We tend to send out a Make-A-Wish bag, cap, a badge for each family member, a handwritten card, and a little gift. The gift could be something they could use on their wish, like an autograph book, or something that we know the child enjoys, like a box of Lego. It’s so lovely when we see the children wearing their badges and caps on their wish!

The impact of a wish is not based solely on the day itself, but also the build-up to the wish. It gives the child and their family something to plan for and look forward to. We are often told by parents that knowing their wish will be granted after their treatment, for example, really keeps the child going through those difficult times. The wish pack is always a surprise for our wish children and parents often tell us how much of a joy it is to see their child open it before the wish.

 

WHAT'S ONE OF THE MOST FULFILLING WISHES YOU'VE GRANTED DURING YOUR TIME AT MAKE-A-WISH UK?

In December 2022, I granted an extremely heartwarming wish for 8-year Oliver. Oliver’s wish was to hand out presents to children in his local hospital. I had a limo pick Oliver and his family up and take them to a toyshop to buy gifts for the children. As a surprise, I arranged for a PS5 to be waiting for Oliver when he arrived (as his mum informed he was desperate for one). This was kindly gifted by the toyshop. Oliver went on to deliver the gifts to the hospital ward where he had spent much of his own time. Oliver also had dinner at his favourite restaurant – McDonalds! And finished the day with a cinema trip with some friends. This wish has really stayed with me as it was so humbling to see Oliver wanting to give back, despite all he had been through himself.

WHAT GOALS DOES THE CHARITY HOPE TO ACHIEVE OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

Right now over 63,000 children in the UK are eligible for a wish because they are dealing with the gruelling daily reality of life with a critical illness. When it comes to their dreams, they deserve to wish for more than a life defined by their illness. Our only goal is to give children facing critical illness the chance to dream big even when they might not have long to live. We want to keep creating lasting memories families will treasure forever, and we can only do that with the incredible support of partners like Joma Jewellery.

HOW DOES HAVING JOMA JEWELLERY AS A PARTNER HELP TO SUPPORT THE WORK YOU DO?

Having a partnership with Joma Jewellery is really exciting for us as a charity. It was clear from the beginning that our goals aligned, and their generosity has enhanced over 50 of our wishes already! Joma Jewellery sends out A Little Bracelets to wish children (where appropriate) as an enhancement to their wish. The range of bracelets that they offer is amazing as it really allows Wishgranters to continue making a wish unique to the child, by choosing a bracelet that is bespoke to their wish. For example, A Little ‘Wee Scottish Luck’ was perfect for Angelica’s wish To Go to Loch Ness. It also gives our wish children something else to keep and remember their wish by. These bracelets are either sent out in their wish packs before the wish is granted or sent directly to the child’s home from Joma Jewellery as an extra surprise after their wish. It’s small gestures like this that really make a wish child feel special and we are looking forward to enhancing more magical wishes through the partnership.

 

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