Make-A-Wish Foundation®

  • Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK was launched in June 1986 and for the first six years operated from offices above a shop in Camberley, Surrey and are still in Camberley today.
  • Four wishes were granted in the first year, 13 in the second and by the end of the third year, 100 wishes had been granted.
  • The very first wish was for Anthony from Liverpool who, with his family, went to meet the Disney characters in Disney World, Florida.
  • Our 100th wish in 1989 was also the first wish to be granted in Scotland. 16 year old Clark from Balerno wished to go on a US aircraft carrier and see an F14 jet. This very exciting wish took place in the Mediterranean only two weeks before Heads of State joined the ship for a summit meeting.
  • In November 1989 the first wish in Wales was granted. 14 year old Louise from Rhyl went with her family to experience all the sights and thrills of Disney World, Florida.
  • Also that month, the first wish in Northern Ireland was granted. 16 year old Gary from Benburb wished to visit his uncle who worked at Disneyland, California. Very sadly, Gary died a short while after his wish.
  • 1,000th Wish – Jessica, aged ten and from Grimsby, had her wish, to meet the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, granted at a very special occasion – the 10th anniversary party of Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK. The huge Beast, as tall as the ceiling, entered the room carrying a red rose. He approached Jessica, who was dressed in her pretty yellow Beauty dress, and invited her onto the dance floor. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
  • 3,000th Wish – 16 year old Sarah from Swindon had experienced such a tough time during her illness that she had one very special wish that would make her feel normal again – to have a make-over in New York. In February 2004, she and her family travelled to America where she had the most wonderful make-up session and new hairstyle. Sarah looked a million dollars in her fabulous new dress and coat.
  • 5,000th Wish – ten year old Ciara from Wigan, living with a Brain Tumour, had her wish granted in August 2008 when she was a model for the day in London.
  • 6,000th Wish – Luke from West Molesey, aged 12 and living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, was able to star in a short film in June 2010 as his own superhero, ‘The Elementor’. The press was out in force when he attended the Première at the Odeon Cinema in Richmond, with his superhero costume under his dinner-jacket!
  • Make-A-Wish has granted more than 6,700 magical wishes over 25 years. We know that our wishes transform lives!
  • There are 20,000 children and young people living in the UK with a life-threatening illnesses.
  • This year alone 1,200 children will turn to us to have their special wish granted. And we want to grant a wish to every one of these.
  • Make-A-Wish needs to raise £5.5m in 2011 to achieve this.

What is a wish?

A wish is a  once-in-a-lifetime experience for a child fighting a life-threatening illness. It’s a positive distraction from ongoing medical treatment and a focus for children living with serious illness whose future may be uncertain. At Make-A-Wish we ask children and young people to choose their favourite wishes.