Patrons and Ambassadors | Make-A-Wish
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Patrons and Ambassadors

Patrons

Leslie Rose Leslie Rose, OBE (Life Patron)

Leslie has been part of the Make-A-Wish team since the charity’s inception in 1986. He organised the first fundraising Ball in 1989 which has become a must-attend annual event ever since. As a result of the success of the Winter Ball, Leslie played an integral role in the implementation of its sister event, the Spring Ball, formerly known as the Valentine’s Ball. With the support of two Committees, these two Balls held at the Dorchester Hotel have raised over £16 million for the charity. Leslie received his greatest accolade in 2015 being awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to Families and their Children and in 2017, Leslie became the first Life Patron for Make-A-Wish as a result of his tireless contribution and passion for the cause.

Graeme Sands Graeme Sands

Graeme is Managing Director of Conance Limited a leading Independent Trade finance company supporting the SME market in the UK.

He became a Patron in 2006, and has been joint Chairman of the Winter Ball Committee since 1999. He was initially a guest at the Ball, and was captured by the wonderful work of Make-A-Wish. This inspired him to become involved and make a difference to so many children and their families.

Batia Ofer Batia Ofer

Batia Ofer is the Chair of Art of Wishes, a patron of Make-A-Wish UK, Honorary President of Make-A-Wish Israel and Honorary President of the Global Shared Appeal. Batia has been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for over ten years now and is the force behind The Art of Wishes Gala, which in its inaugural year raised 2.8 million.

She also oversees the Idan and Batia Ofer Foundation, which supports initiatives in the fields of education and fostering peace in the Middle East. The Foundation’s notable donations include a £25m gift to fund the Sammy Ofer Centre at the London Business School. The foundation also established in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government the Sammy Ofer Fellowship Fund for Emerging Leaders from Israel and Palestine to help promising students from the region attend the School. Batia also sits on the International Board of the US Middle East Project, a US backed initiative aimed at achieving a dignified settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Batia Ofer is an avid art collector and committed philanthropist. Since moving to London in 2013, she has curated one of the leading family-owned collections of Post-War Contemporary art and is an advisor for Sotheby’s.

Jan Rose Jan Rose

Jan Rose has been involved with Make-A-Wish for over 19 years, having first taken up the reins of the Make-A-Wish Ladies Lunch, which she helped organise for seven years. She then created and spearheaded the Make-A-Wish Valentine’s Ball in 2007, which has gone from strength to strength and has since become the Spring Ball. Jan’s passion and commitment for Make-A-Wish has been acknowledged by the charity making her a patron.

Joe Ricotta Joe Ricotta

Joe has over 27 years experience in logistics. He started ‘PCL Transport 24/7 Ltd’ building it into one of the UK’s top chilled distribution specialists. He has since extended his interest in property development in both residential and commercial in the UK, Spain and his parents’ hometown in Sicily. He has opened two traditional Sicilian restaurants in the UK. Joe has recently developed Sicily.co.uk. This website explores the beauty of Sicily, and all it has to offer. They say behind every successful man there is a strong woman, well; Joe has four, his wife, Josie and three daughters who contribute within the businesses. Make-A-Wish has always been close to his heart, and he feels honoured to be part a patron of the charity and involved in the Winter Ball committee.

Neil Bookatz Neil Bookatz

Standing 1.95 metres tall, Neil is a giant in the Property Investment World. He has built up a successful residential Property Portfolio in partnership with his brother Stuart and is the Founder of a challenger brand Property Management business called The Happy Tenant Company. A Patron for Make-A-Wish, Neil is also a prolific Memorabilia and Art Collector as well as an Enthusiastic Golfer. A family man with four children and a very understanding wife!

Jean Bevan Jean Bevan

Jean Bevan (together with her brother John Bevan) is a partner in their law firm Bevan Kidwell LLP, where Jean heads up the corporate and commercial department. Jean has been involved with Make-A-Wish for over 15 years and has been involved with the Valentine’s Ball, now the Spring Ball since its inception. Jean is a Patron for Make-A-Wish. In her spare time, Jean enjoys running marathons and playing football; though she tells us she has recently commenced homemade jam production. Watch this space.

Ian Morton Ian Morton

Ian is Senior Vice President of International Promotions for 20th Century Fox, based in London. He oversees all commercial partnerships for films made by the studio and among the movies he has worked on are the ‘Ice Age’ franchise and ‘Avatar’.  Prior to Fox, Ian held executive roles for Warner Bros. and was involved in the rebranding of the Odeon Cinema chain. He is patron and a member of the Winter Ball committee.

  • Alec Stewart, OBE
  • Barry Clayman, OBE
  • Bradley Walsh
  • David Ian
  • Iain Edwards
  • Jenson Button, MBE
  • Jessie J
  • Justin Fletcher, MBE
  • Simon Moran 

Ambassadors

James Goddard

Early in his career James held a number of senior marketing positions within Renault UK, Bank of Scotland and Prudential before finding his natural home agency side, starting JJ Marketing in 1989. James has extensive experience across many aspects of marketing and was an early advocate of digital as an integral part of marketing communications. He sits on various industry panels, is a Fellow of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and has been an active supporter of Make-A-Wish for over 20 years.

Les Jacobs

Essex based Les has three children with wife Shelley. He is Chair of Bridging Ventures Group and has been supporting Make-A-Wish’s Valentine’s Ball since its second year and continues to do so now it has become the Spring Ball . He loves being involved with Make-A-Wish because he knows exactly where the money has been spent and you can see the effects in the eyes and smiles of the wish families.

Stuart Tucker Stuart Tucker

Stuart has been responsible for the production of around 30 Make-A-Wish Winter/ Valentine’s Balls. He has worked closely with Leslie Rose each year to achieve the wonderful experience our guests receive on the night. Stuart became an ambassador of the charity in 2015.

Kevin Williams Kevin Williams

Kevin has worked within the conference and event industry for almost 30 years, handling a wide variety of projects with budgets of up to £3 million. His first job in the industry was with a London-based communications agency, where he quickly assumed the role of Managing Director of their Conference Division. Kevin has run his own production company for over 25 years and his extensive management and team-building skills are cemented by a hands-on approach to every aspect of conference production. Kevin became an ambassador of Make-A-Wish in 2017. 

John Bevan

John Bevan (together with his sister Jean Bevan) is a partner in their law firm Bevan Kidwell LLP, where John heads up the commercial property department. John has been involved with Make-A-Wish for over 10 years and has been involved with the Spring Ball, previously the Valentine’s Ball since its inception. John is an Ambassador for Make-A-Wish. When not at work John can be found applying his expert skills to restoration projects; most recently to the restoration of his regency house in Brighton.

Adam Collins Adam Collins

Adam is Managing Director of PFE Express, a leading logistics provider renowned for its high service level solutions and specialising in the Far East, South East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent. Having lived both in Hong Kong and the USA, he has a wealth of knowledge in his field. In addition to being an ambassador for Make-A-Wish, Adam is also chairman of his local scout movement.

 Lorna Grey  Lorna Grey

Lorna started volunteering with Make-A-Wish in 2004 and is incredibly proactive in raising awareness of and generating support for Make-A-Wish. She visits wish children to capture their One True Wish and uses her experience in this role to train others as well as contributing to discussions about how we can improve our approach. She sources talks to generate support for Make-A-Wish and organises bucket collections. For her 60th birthday, she leapt from the Sky Tower to raise funds for Make-A-Wish  and for her 65th she abseiled from the Orbit. Many of Lorna’s friends and family have supported Make-A-Wish in some way and her husband Allan is taking part in Ride London this year (for the third time!). Lorna will be there to cheer him and the other Make-A-Wish participants on. Allan also did the 3 Peaks Challenge in 24hours with his running club back in 2006.

Angela Costello Angela Costello

Angela joined Make-A-Wish in 2012. Angela visits the children who are referred to us to find out what their One True Wish is and has also taken on the role of training volunteers who are new to this.  Angela is chair of the fundraising group in Portsmouth. She is a Public Speaker and is always looking for opportunities to promote her ability to talk about Make-A-Wish. She has done a number of talks to local schools. She also has a number of collection tins in the area. She is a key representative for Make-A-Wish in the Portsmouth area and will always volunteer for activities within this area, but is willing to travel too. In addition to all of this, Angela has recently applied to help support our special events e.g. the Winter Ball.

Toni Findley Toni Findley

Toni started volunteering in 2015. Her son Matt had his wish to swim with dolphins granted in 1992. Toni visits lots of our wish children to talk to them about their One True Wish and the empathy she shows families is immeasurable. She has mentored colleagues who are new to this role and been a great support to them. Toni has also helped with fundraising activities such as telling her story at events, bucket collections and selling Christmas cards. Toni was our most active volunteer between 2017 – 2018.

  • Samantha Barks
  • Amy Childs
  • Warwick Davis
  • Clemmie Moodie
  • John Terry
  • Miranda Leslau
  • Bruce Attree