Together for Short Lives
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Grants and Wishes

Palliative Care Networks for children and families

This family factsheet offers advice on sources of charitable funding and other forms of support from grant-giving and wish-granting organisations.

We all have special wishes and dreams. For children and young people with a life-limiting condition there is often a sense of urgency to make those dreams a reality. There are a range of charities that provide support to help children and families achieve their dreams and ensure that their families have an opportunity to build important memories of happy times together.

There are other charitable funds which give grants to people in financial need who meet their eligibility criteria, using a sum of money that the grant-giving charity has set aside for this purpose. Although some grant-giving charities have only one fund, others run several funds that give money for different purposes.

We have provided a list of some of the key organisations in the UK that provide grants for families or enable dreams or wishes for disabled or life-limited children. You will need to check the individual criteria of each of these organisations and establish whether they are currently open for applications.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and you can call our Together for Families Helpline on 0808 8088 100 for details of other organisations that can help.

Dreams Come True Charity

Dreams Come True is a national charity which makes the dreams of terminally or seriously ill children become a reality.

Tel: 01428 726 330


Family Fund

The Family Fund helps families with severely disabled children to have choices and the opportunity to enjoy everyday life. They give grants for things such as washing machines, hospital visiting costs, computers and holidays.

Tel: 01904 550 055


Family Holiday Charity

The Family Holiday Charity provides grants towards a one week holiday of the family’s choice. Referral needed from a health visitor or social worker.

Tel: 020 3117 0650


Make-A-Wish Foundation UK

Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people aged 3-17 who are fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Tel: 01276 405 060


Promise Dreams

Promise Dreams helps to make dreams come true for seriously and terminally ill children aged 0-18, and their families, across the UK. This might include family holidays, specialist equipment or meeting favourite celebrities.

Tel: 01902 212 451


Rays of Sunshine

Rays of Sunshine brightens the lives of seriously ill young people and their families by granting wishes and providing ongoing support within hospitals.

Tel: 0208 782 1171


REACT (Rapid Effective Assistance for Children with Potentially Terminal Illness)

REACT are a charity working to improve the quality of life for financially disadvantaged children with life-limiting illnesses living in the UK. The charity provides grants and holidays.

Tel: 0208 940 2575


Round Table Children’s Wish

Round Table Children’s Wish is a charity dedicated to granting ‘handcrafted’ wishes for children and young people with life-threatening illnesses.

Tel: 01202 514 515


Starlight Foundation

Starlight Children’s Foundation brightens the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by granting their wishes and providing hospital entertainment to help take their minds off the pain, fear and isolation of their illness.

Tel: 0207 262 2881


When You Wish Upon a Star

When You Wish Upon a Star are a national organisation set up to grant wishes for seriously ill children between the ages of 2 and 16.

Tel: 0115 979 1720


Willow Foundation

The Willow Foundation provides special days for 16-40 year olds. Special days aim to provide young adults living with life-threatening conditions with a chance to escape the pressures of their daily routine and share quality time with family and/or friends.

Tel: 01707 259 777


Download our Grants and Wishes resource as a PDF.

Family Resources