Apply for a wish

**Temporary Pause on Accepting New Wish Applications – Except Urgent Wishes**

Thank you for reaching out to Rays of Sunshine.

Due to a high volume of ongoing wish applications, we are currently pausing our acceptance of new referrals/wish applications. This allows us to dedicate our full attention to fulfilling the wishes already in our pipeline and ensuring each child receives the magical experience they deserve.

We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. We are committed and working hard to make sure we can accept new applications as soon as possible, please do come back to our website at a later date for more updates.

Urgent wishes (under 12 month prognosis)

At present, we are only able to accept referrals from medical professionals for children/young people with a prognosis of under 12 months. You will need permission from the parent/guardian before applying and the child/young person must meet our eligibility criteria in order for us to consider them for a wish.

Once you have submitted the referral, we will be in touch with you to confirm the medical condition/prognosis and next steps.

*Please note – if at any point we are made aware the prognosis does not fall under 12 months, we will have to close the application on our system.

Refer an urgent wish

What is a wish?

Wishes can be as unique as the children themselves and whether a child wants to be a princess or a fireman for the day, own an iPad, meet a favourite celebrity or even a ‘real life’ mermaid, Rays of Sunshine strives to make that wish come true.

How to apply for a wish?

All wish applications are assessed on the child’s individual circumstances and the medical information provided on the form. We work closely with our team of professional medical advisors to ensure the wish is suitable for the child.

We cannot guarantee what type of wish can be granted upon application and encourage you to put down three different types of special wishes.

On average it takes us three months to deliver a wish, time-sensitive wishes will be assessed individually on a quicker time scale. We cannot keep wishes open indefinitely, so please only apply when the child is ready to have their wish.

What can I wish for?

We categorise our wishes into different ‘wish types’ – to go, to meet, to be, to have and at-home experiences. Our experienced  Wish Granters will work with the child and their family to determine the type of wish that can be granted and how best to deliver the experience.

**Please note** Due to the cost-of-living crisis and the general increase in travel prices, Rays of Sunshine are currently closed to new requests for international travel wishes to long haul destinations, holidays to Disney Florida or Disneyland Paris, European holidays and trips to Lapland. We cannot guarantee when or if we’ll be re-opening to these kinds of wishes, but still have lots of exciting and personalised options to make your child’s wish truly magical.

Who can apply for a wish?

For a child to be eligible to have a wish granted by Rays of Sunshine, the child must:

  1. Currently living with a serious or life-limiting illness
  2. Aged between three and 18 years of age*
  3. Be a UK resident
  4. Not had a previous wish from Rays of Sunshine or another wish granting charity

*Applications will be accepted until the day before the child’s 18th birthday

Read our full criteria

What is the wish journey?

  1. Parent/guardian or Medical Referral or other

    Anyone can apply for wish on behalf of a child. Parents/guardians send in applications or a medical professional or other may refer a child online with the parent’s permission.

  2. Wish Application

    If a child is referred by a medical professional or other, the family will be sent a link to complete the application. If a parent/guardian/other wants to apply for a wish for their child they can use the separate application form.

    We will also be reaching out to the child’s medical professional to complete our medical form.

  3. Application review

    Your application will be reviewed to see if it matches our eligibility criteria. We will let you know if your child has been accepted for a wish.

  4. Wish Excitement

    If you’re eligible for a wish, the excitement can begin building. Our wish granters will tailor your wish to your needs making the day as perfect as it can be.

  5. Wish Day

    The magical day is here! We try to engage the whole family on a wish because we understand that the wish can have an impact beyond the child.

  6. Beyond the Wish 

    From the moment the wish is approved, you become part of our wish community. This means you are invited to join in any of the events which take place throughout the year – across the UK. 

Any questions?

Contact our wish team at 020 8782 1171 or email wishes@raysofsunshine.org.uk 

What is the purpose of a wish?

When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, their childhood is often disrupted by medical appointments that take up their free time. They may be worried about their health, leaving little room for child-like enjoyment. Rays of Sunshine provides a much-needed respite that these children deserve.

Granting a wish to a seriously ill child not only gives them a sense of choice, but also boosts their confidence and gives them an uplifting memory to hold onto during difficult times. A wish can have a profound impact, not just on the child, but on their family as well. It provides an opportunity for them to spend quality time together, away from hospitals and doctor’s offices, and can give the child a sense of empowerment.

'Anyone who is thinking about applying for a wish, do it.'

Our Wish Granters pulled out all the stops to give motor enthusaist, Ethan an unforgettable car-themed wish at the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed.


Read Ethan's Wish Story

Any questions? 

Contact our wish team at 020 8782 1171 or email wishes@raysofsunshine.org.uk