Continued support for the Hidden Communities Project

Charity Registration number: 800248

At the beginning of this year, we were thrilled to support Dreams Come True with an additional grant of £200,000 to enable them to continue helping more children within their Hidden Communities project. We are always delighted to receive an update from our partners, updates just like Youssef’s. A wonderful young boy who had been eagerly awaiting an exciting new trike.

Youssef is very social, loves to join in and is a Celtic boy. He loves swimming, horse riding, dancing… you name it. His Mum Alison says he likes to be involved in everything but has a short attention span; so, he often gets stuck into the cupboards to help with cooking but leaves them a mess for Mum to tidy up.

Youssef has Down Syndrome, learning disabilities and sleep apnoea. Due to Yousef’s condition, he requires 24/7 support. His behaviour can be challenging at times. He is constantly full of energy which often leaves his mum feeling exhausted.

Alison believes he would benefit from a trike as it would allow her to get him out and about in the community, burn off some energy and increase his social skills. He is not a great walker and needs a means of exercise to keep him healthy.

Youssef was so excited when he got measured for a trike. His Mum said he had been telling everyone, including the postman, who kept being reminded when dropping off parcels “I’m getting a trike!”. This new trike has enabled Youseff to now ride alongside his brother on bike rides.

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Ali’s Garden Haven

Charity Registration number: 800248

Unfortunately COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the work carried out by Dreams Come True. Most of the families they support have children and young adults whose conditions make them particularly susceptible to the virus and were sent into an early lockdown. These families living in already difficult conditions are being impacted in ways that many of us could only imagine. Throughout the lockdown, Dreams Come True has continued to work tirelessly to support the families that need them the most. Families just like Ali’s, whose new restrictions meant that he could not visit his school or respite care facilities.

Ali’s autism means that regulating his emotions is a struggle and his behaviour can be challenging and unpredictable. More than anything, going outdoors helps him to feel calm and happy. When he is at school or respite care, Ali often takes himself outside, spending his time walking around clapping and singing. Whilst he enjoys using the equipment outside at school, he would become bored and frustrated in the garden at home, refusing to go out if the weather were damp.

The situation with COVID-19 has been very challenging for Ali and exhausting for his family. Ali struggled with the change to his routine when both school and his respite care were put on hold during the lockdown. If Ali were taken for a walk, he would often get angry when he was unable to go to McDonald’s to eat as he could not understand why it was closed. He was also unaware of the need to social distance, so trips outdoors would be confusing and upsetting for him.

His social worker wrote to Dreams Come True to say: “Having access to this outside space helps Ali – we already know this is an effective strategy to use. It would make a massive difference for Ali and his family if he had access to a similar safe outdoor space at home. As part of his diagnosis Ali over eats and food is a massive trigger for him. Having access to this equipment will also support a healthy active lifestyle for Ali”

Having spoken with Ali’s mum about what furniture he would enjoy best, Dreams Come True bought a bench for Ali to sit and enjoy the garden, just as he does when he is at respite, along with a pavilion shelter so that he can enjoy the garden in all weathers. Ali also loves going on the swing at school and finds the action calming, so a swing was purchased with a canopy. In the build-up to the day of delivery, Ali’s family kept his dream a secret from him. This meant that when he came outside, his transformed garden space was a huge surprise for him. He was thrilled, he flapped his hands with excitement and was grinning from ear to ear, nobody present could fail to be moved.

Ali’s Mum couldn’t thank the team enough. “I just wanted to thank Dreams Come True for everything that they have done. Everyone was so kind and helpful and truly went above and beyond to give my son the best experience they could. Ali has really been enjoying going out in the garden now. The volunteers from Engie were so friendly and helpful. Thank you so much for everything, we truly appreciate it.”

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The opportunity to have a dream fulfilled should be open to all

Charity Registration number: 800248

We are thrilled to announce that The Kentown Wizard Foundation will be gifting a £1 million grant to Dreams Come True in order to extend the charity’s reach to seriously ill children and young people in areas of deprivation.

Richard Ashton, Chief Executive of Dreams Come True, said: “We look forward to continuing our relationship with The Kentown Wizard Foundation, working together to positively impact the lives of more young people who have life-limiting medical conditions and are living in some of the most deprived and hard-to-reach communities in the country.”

The guiding principle of Dreams Come True is that the opportunity to have a dream fulfilled should be open to all. This grant will enable the charity to be a truly national organisation, with a regional structure and a local focus.

We are extremely proud to support Dreams Come True as they continue to change the lives of children and young adults who need them the most.

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Jake’s dream

Charity Registration number: 800248

Jake’s dream was to go on a family holiday.

9 year old Jake has a diagnosis of autism. He needs around the clock adult input for his personal care, safety and stimulation. He is a lively and energetic boy, often seeking out rich sensory experiences.

Before Jake’s dream came true his mother Sabina couldn’t have ever imagined being able to take her family on holiday, as Jake cannot go anywhere crowded where it would be unsafe for him.

Thanks to the extraordinary team at Dreams Come True, a seaside holiday house was made available that catered for all the families needs.

His mother Sabina said afterwards:

“Oh gosh where to start, it was absolutely amazing. We would never have imagined in our wildest dreams that we could’ve had a holiday, let alone take the kids to the beach. Bearing in mind, that it was only our eldest who had seen the sea and beach before.

We felt so blessed over the whole of the holiday and not a day went by that we didn’t get emotional about having the opportunity to take our family away. We even had my parents join us for the weekend which helped them too.”

The Kentown Wizard Foundation are always extremely grateful to receive updates like these from our partners and we look forward to posting many more throughout this journey

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Charity Registration number: 800248

Dreams Come True is a UK children’s charity with a mission to quite simply, enrich the lives of children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions across the country by making their dreams come true.

Their highly experienced team work hard to ensure that every child has an unforgettable experience fulfilling their dream, with long lasting memories to share with their families, loved ones and friends.

10 year old Harrison fulfilling his dream of swimming with dolphins

Each dream is unique, from wanting to meet their idol or favourite Disney character to visiting their grandparents abroad, riding a unicorn or swimming with dolphins. Dreams provide optimism and hope. Once a dream has been granted the focus of the illness is surpassed by the anticipation of fulfilling their dream.

The Kentown Wizard Foundation are supporting Dreams Come True with grants totalling £400,000 to date. In 2017 our grant funded 121 wishes and in 2018 will enable at least 75 children and their families to enjoy a holiday together.

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