14-year-old Sophie, from Basildon, is guest of honour at special reception
THIS WEEK, Rays of Sunshine celebrated reaching a very special milestone, granting its 5,000th wish, for 14-year-old Sophie from Basildon, at a reception held at No.11 Downing Street. Sophie, who is currently living with Cystic Fibrosis, was the guest of honour at the event, completing her greatest wish to be a VIP for the day.
The evening was hosted by the Minister of State for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP, and guests included Rays of Sunshine supporters JB Gill, of JLS, and his wife Chloe, Ladies of London stars, Caroline Stanbury, Juliet Angus, Sophie Stanbury and Dina Dahmash, as well as the charity’s Patrons, supporters, medical referrers and wish families, who were all there to welcome Sophie on arrival and celebrate the milestone.
To ensure that the teen’s day kicked off in true celebrity-style, Rays of Sunshine organised a host of exclusive experiences for her and her family in the run up to the evening’s event. The trip began with a luxurious stay at The Berkeley Hotel in Kensington, before heading off for an exclusive Personal Shopping experience at Selfridges where with the help of a personal stylist she was treated to a whole new wardrobe before being treated to a blow dry and manicure in the brand new Daniel Galvin in the new Body Studio. The family then enjoyed a fashion themed afternoon tea back at the hotel, before being whisked off in a limo to Downing Street. Sophie’s day was a complete surprise to her with each treat being revealed as the day unfolded.
Geri, Sophie’s mum, said:
“We are still trying to process the incredible day organised for Sophie, every single part of it was so special. Rays of Sunshine has had a massive impact on Sophie and our whole family. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done.”
Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine, added:
“We’re so proud to have reached this fantastic milestone of our 5,000th wish. Every day of the year, Rays of Sunshine puts a smile on the face of deserving children and young people who are living with serious illnesses, just like Sophie. We were absolutely delighted to be able to make Sophie’s dream of being a VIP for a day come true, and we’re so thankful to everyone who helped make her day as special as possible, including Downing Street.”
Rays of Sunshine was set up in 2003 with the aim of ensuring that every seriously ill children across the UK got to put their illness on hold and enjoy a moment of escape, even if just for one day. Wishes can be as unique as the children themselves and whether a child wants to be a princess or a fireman for the day, go to Disney World in Florida, visit Santa in Lapland, own an iPad, meet a favourite celebrity or a ‘real life’ mermaid, Rays of Sunshine works hard to make that wish come true.
Rays of Sunshine also grants ward wishes, which offer a distraction to hundreds of children during their time in hospital or a hospice. Events and outings are held throughout the year for large groups of seriously ill children including trips to theme parks, hospital activity/pamper days, parties and The Rays of Sunshine Concert at The Royal Albert Hall.
View photos from the event here: