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Charities that offer wishes and dreams

A ‘wish’ or a ‘dream’ aims to provide children, young people, and adults living with a disability, or life-limiting condition the chance to experience something extraordinary. There are several charities in the UK that can help to make a wish or dream come true.

Below are organisations in the UK who help makes wishes a reality. Each will have their own policies on what they can and cannot provide. Some may offer wishes that take place abroad and others won’t. Most operate a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ rule. This means that once someone has received a wish or dream from one organisation, they will unfortunately not be eligible for another – even from a different organisation.

Applying for a wish will vary from charity to charity. Most organisations require a referral to be made by a medical or educational professional. However, you will normally need to complete a short form explaining your condition and what they would like to ask for. Some charities will also ask for the form to be signed by the a consultant.

Family members can apply for a wish or dream on a child or young person’s behalf, or they can apply by themselves. If the applicant is under 18, the parents or legal guardians will usually need to be involved in the process at some stage.

Dreams Come True

Dreams Come True delivers dreams to children and young people aged between five-18 years living with a disability, serious illness, or life limiting condition, who also live in areas of high deprivation. Dreams are extended to children from two-18, should one be needed as soon as possible. Dreams Come True only accept referrals from medical, healthcare, educational or social care professionals.


Dreamflight is a UK charity set up by British Airways staff. It arranges trips to theme parks in Florida for children aged 8 – 14 with a serious illness or disability. Children are accompanied by a team of escorts, not by their families.

Make a Wish Foundation UK

Make a Wish aims to grant the special wishes of children aged 3-18 with critical illnesses. Wishes can include special parties, meeting famous people, trips abroad or the provision of a special piece of equipment.

Muscle Dreams

Muscle Dreams provides memorable experiences for children and young people with muscular dystrophy through their Muscle Dream programme. Experiences can include an onboard cruise liner experience, the art of filmi-making, flying experience and much more.

Promise dreams

Promise Dreams fulfils the dreams of children and young people aged 0-18 who have a life-limiting condition. Dreams can include trips abroad, the chance to meet a celebrity as well as medical equipment, home adaptations or wheelchairs. Promise Dreams will consider applications from children who have already received a wish from another organisation.

Rays of Sunshine

Rays of Sunshine grants wishes for seriously ill children aged 3-18. Wishes can include a meet-and-greet with a celebrity, a bedroom makeover, or a day trip. Holidays abroad are sometimes awarded, but these are limited. Rays of Sunshine will consider applications from children who have already received a wish from another organisation.

When you Wish Upon a Star

When You Wish Upon a Star helps children aged 4 – 16 with a life-threatening illness to fulfil their dreams. This could be it visit to Lapland, a special day out or a trip to Disneyland. They do not accept applications where a child has already received a wish.

The Willow Foundation

The Willow Foundation arranges special days and short breaks for young people and adults aged 16-40 years who are living with a serious illness. Days out could include a trip to a theme park, sporting event or the theatre. They can also arrange experiences at your home for those who are less mobile.

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