Sunday 14th May marked National Children’s Day in the UK and, naturally, that is a day that deserves to be celebrated on ‘Days @ Rays’, making this week’s theme an easy decision; the only difficulty was that, with all of the amazing children we know and work with, we were overwhelmed with choices for a post topic!
So we put our thinking caps on and tried to fit all of our ideas and admiration for these children into one blog sized post (no mean feat, let me tell you!)…………….. And then it hit us – the answer had been right there in front of us all along – our Wish Ambassadors!
We have Wish Ambassadors who joined the Rays of Sunshine family as Wish Children and since then have gone on to do some really amazing things – they’ve been fundraising, blogging, performing, campaigning and, of course, helping us to grant Wishes for all of our current Wish Children…..but don’t just take our word for it, here are a few words from our ambassadors themselves about their experiences with the Rays of Sunshine family:
Became Ambassador October 2010 – Special Ambassador Alice’s Wish Came to London to see the Lion King in 2009. We asked Alice what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
“Family, medicine & memories.”
October 2010 – Special Ambassador
Came to London to see the Lion King in 2009.
We asked Alice what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
Since Alice had her wish granted, she has strived to give other children the same opportunity that she had. So she began fundraising from her hospital bed! Some of her ideas and involvement in fundraising for Rays include the organising of Balls, a Golf Day and small-scale events, whilst also aiming to visit local schools and businesses to raise money for our charity.
Alice has helped to raise over £60,000 enabling Rays of Sunshine to grant more magical wishes!
“I thoroughly enjoy being a Special Ambassador and Volunteer Wish Coordinator for Rays of Sunshine and I am able to help organise children’s wishes in the Yorkshire region! I know how important it is to have a wish granted and believe every seriously ill child and their family should be given the opportunity to receive a wish and join the Rays of Sunshine family.
“One of the bravest things we can do is to be ourselves!”
In June 2016 Alice celebrated her 10-year anniversary of living with autoimmune insulin syndrome, in which she has made it her mission to achieve and experience ten things that her health stopped her from being able to do.
We can’t wait to hear all about them soon, Alice!
Alice and her registered assistance dog continue to inspire children and young people that anything is possible with the courage and inspiration to pursue it whilst raising awareness of the charity.
Met Jessie J in 2014.
We asked Hannah what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
“Hope, family & memories.”
From the moment Hannah sent in her application she was raising money for the charity, whether that be through small fundraisers or hosting an open house birthday breakfast morning. Anything she could think of she aimed to achieve.
Since Hannah’s wish to meet Jessie J, she has been volunteering with the charity and helped others raise money for Rays of Sunshine.
“My dream is to run the marathon and raise funds for Rays of Sunshine, well that’s next on the timeline anyway. Wherever I go, a little piece of Rays of Sunshine has to come with me.”
As far as Hannah’s own work, she has taken a great interest in transition in hospitals, she blogs and speaks at various events in the medical world, and as a motivational speaker. She will also be launching a range of products on her website this coming year, her first product being a journal called ‘Bella Vita’.
Good luck on the launch Hannah!
To follow Hannah’s journey please check out her blog – www.hannahsheartbeat.co.uk
Visited the set of Holby City in 2010.
We asked Sophie what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
“Wonderful, magical & memories.”
Sophie was invited to events at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament and sang with JLS at the Royal Albert Hall before being made Ambassador in July 2012. She was lucky enough to perform at the Royal Albert Hall again with the Wish Choir in 2014.
“Since my Wish, I have received a life-saving pancreatic transplant! Although my health is far from good, I no longer go to bed wondering if I’ll wake up in hospital. I am studying for a degree in Psychology via the Open University and sew specially adapted pyjamas and gowns for children in hospital. I’ve even made a few outfits for myself and some of my friends. For the last three years, I have helped to grant wishes for children in Wales, which is incredibly rewarding.”, says Sophie.
Good Luck with your degree Sophie! X
Sophie regularly raises money for Rays of Sunshine – check out her Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophie-washington
Meet JLS in 2013.
We asked Charlie what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for him
“Memories for life.”
“I want to wish Rays of Sunshine, all the Wish Children and all Wish Families a very happy National Children’s Day and here’s to many more fantastic wishes in the future.”
Met Joe McElderry in 2010.
We asked Cissy what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
“My Second Family.”
“Since Rays granted my Wish, nearly 7 years ago now (wow!), a lot has happened! Most importantly I’ve been able to continue to be part of Rays of Sunshine by attending events, being part of the choir and doing talks about their wonderful work.”
Cissy has started a blog, been awarded a Pride of Britain award and a Well Child Award. As of now, she is studying hard for her A-levels and hopes to attend University in September to study Journalism.
Good luck for your A-Levels Cissy x
Went on a London shopping trip to Topshop with Leona Lewis in 2010.
We asked Jessica what three words sum up Rays of Sunshine for her
“Just like family.”
Since then Jessica has raised over £5,000 for Rays of Sunshine through holding a coffee morning, doing a sponsored walk to Addenbrooke’s (where she had her treatment) and attending craft fairs and holding market stalls. She has also supported Rays of Sunshine at the Tri for Life at Woburn, attended the Teen Forum meetings at charity partner, Nomura and supported runners at the Royal Parks Half Marathon.
“I am currently an apprentice working towards my Level 3 in Early Years Childcare and loving it!”, says Jessica.
Best of luck with the course Jessica from everyone here at Rays of Sunshine! X
Met One Direction in 2013.
Earlier this year Caitlin kicked off the second year of #Kisses4Wishes, spreading the word and encouraging people to post their ‘kisses’ on social media and donating via text. As Caitlin says, “a little love can go a long way…”
Caitlin started her own non-uniform fundraising day at her school called ‘Happy to be me’ which has raised over £2,000 to support the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. She came up with the idea for the day as a way to celebrate you and what makes you unique regardless of your appearance. Caitlin has also been awarded a Good Morning Britain Children Health Star award.
Caitlin says: “In my spare time I give talks at Give Blood Ceremonies helping to explain why donating is so important.”
“I am also currently studying for my GCSEs, including Textiles which I really enjoy.”
Best of luck for your GCSEs Caitlin! X