We’re delighted to Welcome Make-A-Wish to Connect Reading.
Right now, around 63,000 children in the UK are eligible for a wish because they have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. From the moment they are diagnosed, the simple pleasures of childhood and family life are replaced by worry, disruption, medical appointments, financial worries and isolation.
Make-A-Wish exists to put those issues to one side by empowering a child with the chance to choose a wish that’s unique to them, when so much else has been decided for them because of their health needs. In doing so, a wish creates hope, happiness and memories for the whole family to cherish.
Joanna, the Organisational Development Lead at Make-A-Wish, took the time to answer some questions for us.
Together we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Whether it’s starring in their own films, feeding tigers, meeting a celebrity hero, or having a bedroom redesigned just so; our wishes are varied, personal and life-changing. We go above and beyond to grant amazing wishes to amazing children when they need it most. Because a child’s life shouldn’t be about illness, hospitals and diagnosis – it should be about wonder, joy and hope.
We’ve seen first-hand how a wish can provide respite from the daily struggles that come with a critical condition and that is the driving force behind why we continue to do what we do.
Why did you join Connect Reading?
The power of a Wish revives a childhood stolen by critical illness. It brings light and joy to children and their loved ones, with a profound and lasting impact on all their lives.
However, granting wishes takes an army of volunteers, community support, skills and donations to help children feel like children again. So, we need help – and being able to network with like-minded businesses and charities in Reading area is one way of doing that. We want to be close to the local communities so the wishes we grant have impact not only on the child and their family but on communities across the UK.
How are you building a better Reading for everyone?
Our main hub is in Reading even though our people are spread across the country. We hope that however our presence here makes a difference. We have granted many wishes to critically ill children in the area and hope to create even more that will bring communities together.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned as an organisation?
That we cannot do this alone and it takes an army of support to reach every critically child in the UK. We believe in empowerment and enablement of the volunteers and that this is the way forward in fulfilling our vision and mission.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
We want to reach more children in the areas that we are not reaching at the moment, to create more magical wishes that have a lasting impact and to make sure that our people who do all the hard work are happy and satisfied in doing so
How can people connect with you and support what you’re doing?
Wishes take time and money to organise. They require creativity, passion and commitment. Our networks and communities – health and social care professionals, volunteers, partners, fundraisers, supporters, wish families – are key to making children’s wishes become a reality.
We’re led by the child and their experience, seeking to understand what’s unique about them, so we can craft an experience that will excite and engage them.
Check out all we do on our website.