Charity Registration number: 295672 (England and Wales) and SC037479 (Scotland)
Throughout 2020 we have continued our partnership with Make-A-Wish® UK . We made our first grant to this amazing charity in November 2016 and since then our grants have funded the travel wishes of 235 seriously ill children.
Sadly, COVID-19 has temporarily derailed our ambitious four-year plan to fund all of the Disneyland Paris wishes granted by Make-A-Wish to children living in the UK. However, during these turbulent and uncertain times we have been extremely impressed by their determination to continue to deliver transformational wishes that bring hope, strength and joy.
We are therefore delighted to have made a further grant of £800,000 to Make-A-Wish to assist them in their quest to grant the wish of every child with a critical illness in the UK.
A wish just like Eric’s, who was born four weeks premature with a condition affecting his optic nerve and his pituitary gland. This has slowed Eric’s development and means he has little verbal communication, reduced mobility and blindness. He has seizures and takes 25 tablets a day. He struggled at school initially but thrived when he had the right support – winning awards for his confidence and abilities.
His mum Lynsey explained: “Having a child like Eric makes you appreciate the little things. It’s like planning to go to one place and then arriving at another. It may not be what you were expecting but we play the cards we are dealt. You learn to take in the moments in the everyday. We don’t have a bad life, but it is different.”
Eric’s nurse told him about Make-A-Wish and initially he chose to go on holiday in a caravan, but when isolation restrictions came into force, he had second thoughts and changed his wish to have an adapted bike. This meant his mum could pedal him around with Eric riding upfront. Despite the restrictions of lockdown, this was a wish that with funding from The Kentown Wizard Foundation the charity could deliver.
The benefits of Eric’s wish have been life-changing. He can now go shopping with his mum, be part of their community, it’s an easier vehicle to manoeuvre than his wheelchair and Eric has gained local notoriety. Bus drivers beep at him, he’s been invited to a barbecue and been given free chips! He is even sharing his bike with other people with similar needs so that they can enjoy the freedom and independence it brings – paying it forward!
Lynsey said: “This has been the best gift he could have had. It has made our lives so much easier. Now he can have experiences because of the bike and join in with everyone else. It isn’t just a bike. It has changed our lives.”