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How to get a wish

Do you know a child fighting a critical illness, who could benefit from a life-changing wish?

We accept referrals from parents or guardians, medical professionals – or even the children themselves. If you have any questions about the process, give us a call on 0118 304 2776 or email referrals@makeawish.org.uk and we'll be happy to help.

See Our Eligibility Criteria

What is a wish?

Our wishes give seriously ill children the chance to do something extraordinary. For many children, it's an opportunity to imagine something just for them - a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Children’s wishes are as unique as the child themselves.  Our experienced Wish Visitors visit a child, spending time with them to find out their One True Wish – what matters most to them in the world, and what matters most to them about their wish.

Leah

We’re very keen to get this wish capture experience right, because a child’s One True Wish is a precious gift that helps build lasting memories, confidence and resilience. 

Tough times lead a child to be eligible for a wish, and families often suffer as a result of a child being seriously ill, which is why it is important to us to include them in a child’s wish, too.1  

Apply for a wish 

Wishes are often around four key themes –

  • to meet someone special or important like a hero, celebrity or influencer
  • to be someone or something – such as a superhero, princess or an imagined character 
  • to go somewhere and spend time doing something special
  • to own something special or particular like a toy  

Whatever the child’s wish, we make the experience a truly individual and memorable one.

Read about some of the wishes we have granted here.

Liam saluting next to Lt. Melville

What are the criteria?

A child needs to be a UK resident, aged between 3 and 17 years, and fighting a critical illness. 

We speak to each child's medical consultant to establish whether their condition is medically classed as critical – you will need to provide us with their consultant’s information when you apply2.  

You can also refer to the list of conditions within our eligibility criteria here to find out more.

In addition, a child should not have received a previous wish from us, or from another wishgranting organisation. We're only able to grant one wish for any child.   

We can accept an application if we receive it on the child's third birthday, or before the day of their 18th birthday.

Mr Tumble and Emilia-Mae waving

How do I refer a child?

Complete our form online. Please remember that the child's parent/guardian needs to sign the medical release form. This will let us write to the child's consultant as soon as possible, in order to confirm medical eligibility.  We can’t proceed with a wish until we have this in place. 

If you have any problems completing the form, or would prefer a paper copy, please contact us on 0118 304 2776 or email referrals@makeawish.org.uk and we'll send you a form in the post.

Please post the form back to: Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, Seventh Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1LX

Dewi sat in the driver's seat of a blue supercar

What happens next?

Once we've spoken to the child's medical consultant and they've confirmed the child has a critical illness, we'll send a short form to the family asking for further information about the child.

When we get this form back, we'll arrange for our specially trained volunteers to visit the child to find out about their One True Wish. 

Please note there are restrictions on some kinds of wishes.  Wishes are usually restricted to within Europe, and we are unable to provide some items such as disability-related equipment.

If your wish falls into a category with restrictions, we’ll share more with you so you can understand why.

There are two ways to refer a child:

1. Apply online

You can complete our online form. This should take no more than 10 minutes to fill in. Afterwards, we'll email you a Medical Release Form that the child's parent/guardian will need to sign and return to us.

2. Download a referral form

Alternatively, you can download our referral form and post it back to us. The child's parent/guardian needs to sign the Medical Release Form. Please return the form to: Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, Seventh Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1LX or scan and email it back to referrals@makeawish.org.uk.

 

Footnotes

We consider a family to be parent(s), and sibling(s) under the age of 18 who still live at home. This includes step parents and siblings.

2 The information you provide to us must be for a child’s medical consultant and not their GP.  All information you provide is treated in the strictest confidence.  What we do with the information you provide to us is explained in our Privacy Policy.