<Our impact in 2023>

Magical wishes granted for seriously ill children across the UK

Free and accessible Wish Community events hosted across the UK

Children, young people and families attended our Wish Community events bringing wish families together

Hospitals, hospices, community teams supported across the UK through our Sunshine in Hospitals programme

How we make a difference

We brighten the lives of seriously ill young people by granting wishes and providing ongoing support in hospital and within the community. 


“It was worth going through all the horrendous treatment last year, to have that day.”  

Short on time? Download our Impact Report Snapshot

<Our Magical Wishes>

Thanks to our supporters, we granted an amazing 358 wishes in 2023!  

That’s 358 magical and memorable moments for families of seriously ill children.  

These are children whose lives revolve around doctor’s appointments; hospital stays and treatment instead of school and time with family and friends.

They can feel isolated from their peers and forgotten about. Having a wish granted gives the child and their family something positive to focus on, something to look forward to and helps build confidence back when they need it the most.  

Delilah’s concert wish

Delilah was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age seven. Her illness meant she had to spend many months in hospital away from family, friends and school. Throughout it all, Delilah and her mum Caitlin kept their spirits high by singing songs by Pink. When Rays of Sunshine asked Delilah what her wish would be, seeing the singer live was top of her list.  

Rays of Sunshine told Delilah they could make it happen, and according to Caitlin, news of her wish gave Delilah a huge boost during her treatment. “Delilah went into hospital just before Christmas, and only came out about a week before the concert in June. I think it was the fact she was so excited to see Pink that got her through those last few weeks,” Caitlin says.  

On the night of the concert, Delilah donned her sparkliest party dress for the occasion, and plenty of glitter, before dancing and singing the night away with her mum. “It was so special – because of her illness, Delilah often gets tired quickly. But she had bundles of energy to enjoy the whole show,” says Caitlin.  



“She turned to me after the concert and said it had been the best time of her life.”

Read Delilah's full story

<Wish Community Events>

In 2023 we hosted 24 events (an increase on 15 the year before) attended by over 1360 people.  

Our events are designed for children and young people who have received a wish from Rays of Sunshine, and their families. From the moment the wish is granted, they become part of this community, and are invited to join in any of the events which take place throughout the year – across the UK. 

We offer a ‘relaxed’, safe, fully accessible environment during our events so children and young people can feel free to be themselves whilst not being overwhelmed, and share valuable time with others in a setting which aims to boost their confidence. Our events help to bring wish families together, provide an opportunity to meet others who have faced similar experiences, and most importantly, have fun!  

In 2023, our Wish Community events included: a private screening of the Super Mario Bros Movie at the BFI Cinema in London, a Disney Princess tea party, a summer party with Milly Days, Ferrari Day at Silverstone Racetrack, 12 fabulous Christmas events and our inaugural Confidence Event for Teens. 


Events like this help my son forget about his everyday struggles.”

Find out more about Wish Community Events

Duygu's story

12-year-old Duygu is a part of our Wish Community. She was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was five. She had her wish granted to visit Disneyland when she was seven, and has been part of the Rays of Sunshine family ever since. She been to some of our events this year, and has loved being able to make friends who have similar experiences to her.   

“It feels good to be surrounded by people who understand what you have been through, and have fun together. I have made friends because of these events.”  

<Sunshine in Hospitals>

In 2023, 75 Hospitals, hospices, community teams were supported by Rays of Sunshine through our Sunshine in Hospitals programmes.

Our hospital team delivers sunshine to children up and down the country currently receiving treatment in hospitals. From our activity days to our sensory bags, we aim to reach children and their families when they need it the most. 

Our projects help to reduce anxiety, loneliness and isolation in the hospital and hospice environment for seriously ill children and their families. In 2023, our Sunshine in Hospitals activities included attending hospital events and providing entertainment and activities, National Teddy Bear Day, as well as the re-launch of our sensory play hospital bags.  

We also awarded our second Sunshine in Hospitals grant, in partnership with Lockton. The £20,000 was awarded to Glasgow Children’s Hospital, and will help in the creation of a state of art mobile sensory kit to help children at their bedsides. 

One of the hospitals that benefitted from our work this year was Sheffield Children’s Hospital. As well as our bears the hospital received two sets of our sensory bag kits for its cancer and leukaemia ward and its palliative care ward.  

Catherine Foster, Head of Trusts & Philanthropy at The Children’s Hospital Charity (Sheffield Children’s Hospital) said:  


“It can sometimes be really difficult for our team to create a peaceful, relaxed environment…The sensory bags have been an absolute game changer in this regard because they can turn even the smallest bed into a mini sensory room.” 

Find out more about Sunshine in Hospitals

87 sensory packs sent to help facilitate play interventions to children and young people specifically requiring sensory play.

4732 teddy bears sent to hospitals across the UK for National Teddy Bear Day

Three professionals forums held with health professionals supporting seriously ill children to help scope and design future plans

It wouldn’t be possible without you, our supporters!

All of the magic wouldn’t be possible without you 

We rely on generous donations from the public to fund our work, so we want to say a huge thank you to all our supporters for helping us to grant more magical wishes for seriously ill children.

Help us shine in 2024 and beyond

Like so many charities, it's been hard to navigate through the cost-of-living crisis – and we can’t deny these pressures have impacted our work.

If you want to be part of our bright future and help us to reach more seriously ill children – get involved by fundraising, volunteering your time, or simply donating

We can’t wait to show you everything we have planned... 

Support Rays of Sunshine