Everybody has a dream, a goal or an aspiration that they wish could come true. The children that Dreams Come True help are no different. Each child has a truly unique dream, from eating their favourite flavoured ice-cream, receiving a piece of equipment that allows them to join in a family bike ride to meeting their favourite actor/popstar/footballer. However the reality is that these children and young adults that Dreams Come True work with have less time to realise that dream. This is because they are undergoing long and difficult rounds of hospital treatment, diagnosed with serious or life-limiting conditions. The focus of the children and their families is about getting through every day.
This is where Dreams Come True comes in. They are an inspiring national children’s charity that works to enrich and bring joy to the lives of children and young adults, aged 2-21 with serious and life-limiting conditions. The charity allows children and young adults to think beyond their illness or disability and allows them to focus on something highly positive and empowering, by making their dreams a reality.
Over the last 29 years Dreams Come True has fulfilled the dreams of more than 50,000 children and young adults, creating amazing memories for the children and their entire families that will always be remembered and have a positive lasting impact on their lives.
Fulfilling a child’s personal dream provides an unforgettable experience and brings them extraordinary happiness and joy. The volunteers at Dreams Come True get to see that happiness first-hand every day, but it is also very evident from the Dream Stories as well.
One example of the work and happiness Dreams Come True have brought is to 8 year old Ryan, who has a very rare and progressive genetic disorder. Ryan wanted to be like his big sister and join in with the family bike rides. Ryan’s mum, Emma, wrote to Dreams Come True asking if they could help. As she explained: “It would make Ryan so happy to be more independent and do something that many eight-year olds take for granted. The trike would also help Ryan to strengthen his leg muscles and improve his mobility.”
Dreams Come True were able to provide a specialist trike for him that had been purpose-built to suite his individual needs and was painted in his favourite colours. The happiness this simple aspect of freedom has given Ryan has provided him with fun every day since.
Another dream the charity were able to provide was for 9-year-old Grace. She has severe and profound learning difficulties, making communication difficult for her. Grace’s mum wrote in to Dreams Come True on behalf of her, explaining how much Grace had loved the sensory equipment she got to use in hospital. She wrote of how much Grace would love to have her very own bubble tube, fibre optic lights, cushion and projector, as it would give Grace a place to go and be calm. Her mum explained that she is in chronic pain a lot throughout the day and it would be a great way to help her to relax.
Thanks to the donations and partnerships that Dreams Come True receives, they were able to make Grace’s dream come true. Grace’s parents spent two months getting her room ready with all the sensory equipment Dreams Come True has provided. Once they had completed the room they sent the charity a lovely email, expressing the help and joy this act had given their family: “We’ve finally completed Grace’s bedroom and she now has everything up and running. The bottom photo shows the joy of seeing the projector for the first time. It’s made such a difference, I can’t thank you all enough!!”
Dreams Come True is also one of the few charities that provide dreams to young adults up to 21 years old. Joel, is 19 and is one example of the fun and once in a lifetime experiences that Dreams Come True provide to young adults. Joel has lymphoma and wanted to simply leave the daily reminder of his treatment behind for the day, to do something he really enjoys. Joel loves cooking and said: “I have always had an interest in cooking and found it to be a great escape throughout my treatment. I am eager to pursue this as a career and have already started working in a local kitchen.”
Dreams Come True were able to arrange for Joel and his mum to spend a few days in London, where at the end of his trip Joel got to put on his cooking whites and cook alongside award winning Chefs at Galvin HOP and The Ritz!
Joel had an amazing time during this once in a life time experience and Joel’s Mum was particularly thrilled with a special afternoon tea in the Palm Court, where her son had arranged for the chef to ice a cake saying ‘To Mum, Thanks for everything.’
Dreams Come True know that the magic of a dream goes way beyond that one experience. They believe a dream fulfilled provides enduring and treasured memories and an enhanced sense of wellbeing that can empower families. They call this the “Power of Dreams” and it is poignantly expressed in the many hundreds of testimonies that Dreams Come True continue to receive from dream children and their families.
Dreams Comes True is completely reliant on the wonderful work of their supports and volunteers, which help raise funds and realise the dreams of children and young adults. They hold fundraising events and people have the opportunity to donate or support a child’s dream, which can bring so much joy to the lives of the children and their families. Anyone can nominate a child to help fulfil their dream as long as s/he is between the ages of 2-21 and is living with a serious or life-limiting conditions and is a resident in the UK. Find out more on how to get a child nominated here.
This amazing charity and all the people involved, which help create and spread joy to thousands of children and young adults lives every day are an inspiration. It shows how some simple acts of kindness and help can create long lasting fun and happiness to so many children that truly deserve it. For more inspiring dreams stories and information about this charity please visit their website.