350 wishes granted in 2022 – looking back at a magical year

Rays of Sunshine’s amazing supporters helped us to grant around 350 magical wishes for seriously ill children in 2022.

Small boy dressed in a firefighter's uniform and hat, holding up a piece of firefighting equipment and smiling for the camera. His uniform reads Khaliq.

Every day of the year, Rays of Sunshine works to grant wishes as unique as the children themselves. Whether a child wants to be a princess or a fireman for a day, own an iPad, meet their favourite celebrity or even a ‘real-life’ mermaid, we work hard to make their dream come true.

The pandemic was a challenging time for Rays of Sunshine and the children and families we work with. Many of our wishes and events had to be cancelled, delayed, or changed – but 2022 was the year we came back with a bang.

Some highlights include:

  • Granting our 8,000th Wish – Scarlett had her wish granted to become a Cosmopolitan cover star for the day.
  • Hosting 12 Christmas events with 546 children and young people attending across the UK.
  • Over £142,000 was raised in a record-breaking London Marathon year.
  • Over £1 million was raised at the Sidemen Charity Match in aid of great causes including Rays of Sunshine. The Sidemen team also generously donated four hospitality boxes to us so young people and their families could have a brilliant day out as VIPs.
  • Our corporate partners Lockton raised an incredible £177,905, Smyths Toys renewed and doubled their partnership with an amazing £100,000 donation and Bacta renewed their partnership for another two years with a £20,000 donation
  • 11 trips to Legoland, 23 holidays at Center Parcs, four VIP shopping experiences at Smyths Toy Superstores, and much more.

One of the children who received a wish in 2022 was Khaliq. Khaliq’s dream was to be a real-life superhero for the day – and so he chose to spend time at Walton-on-Thames Fire Station and its team of firefighters. Khaliq had training on how to use the fire hose, rode in the fire engine, and even got to know the station’s two highly trained fire dogs.

Belynda, Khaliq’s mum, said: “I can’t thank you enough for making his little wish come true his face was the best picture and you could tell how excited he was by all the jumping, he said that it was the best day of his life when he got home. He was definitely one very happy boy!”

Cheryl Tissot, Interim CEO at Rays of Sunshine said, “After a difficult time during the pandemic, 2022 was the year we came back with so many magical wishes. Thanks to our dedicated team and amazing supporters who stood by us through challenging times, we’ve been able to grant hundreds of magical wishes and host events for seriously ill children and their families when they need it the most.

“Looking beyond 2022, it’s a really exciting time for Rays of Sunshine, our team is growing, wish applications are increasing again and we want to build on this success to grant more wishes. None of this would be possible without our supporters – we can’t thank you enough.”

To find out how you could support Rays of Sunshine in 2023 go to our Supporters Page.

To apply for a wish or hear about our other services, visit our Apply Page.

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