Skip to main content

UK Experience Charities

These are charities in the UK that help families with life-threatening illnesses make memories. For more information. Please reach out to the charities directly.

Donna’s Dream House

Donna’s Dream House is a charitable trust and holiday home for children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses in Blackpool.

Donna’s Dream House offers holidays to children and teenagers with life-limiting or terminal illnesses, with no charge for accommodation. Families will also receive a selection of discount vouchers for some of the local attractions when available, to use on their stay.

The house consists of four themed family apartments (with kitchens). Themes include the Disney Suite, Beach’s Suite, TeddiesWorld and the Kentown Wizard Suite. All the guests are invited to enjoy the communal rooms: a playroom/sensory room, garden, hot tub, mini-cinema with sweet shop and a ‘must-see-to-believe’ circus room complete with a steam train encircling the ceiling, bursting at the seams with fantastic teddies, soft toys and murals.

Local attractions include Blackpool Zoo (with a train), the aquarium of Blackpool Tower, the Sea Life Centre, Jungle Jims (complete with ball pool + slides), the lights of the Illuminations and the Tower Ballroom (with organ music and dancing).

The Snowdrop Centre also provides short breaks for bereaved families, up to 2 years following the death of a child.

Families can self-refer via the appropriate nomination form or they can be nominated by a professional supporting them.
Telephone: 01253 752222
21 Chapel St, Blackpool, FY1 5AW
Registered Charity 1072888

Torbay Holiday Helpers Network

Torbay Holiday Helpers is a charity network of hotels, accommodation providers, tourist attractions and businesses who are committed to helping provide fun filled holidays in Devon to families who have seriously ill children or are recently bereaved.

We work with families to discuss their preferences, working with our supporters to offer a holiday that meets the families needs. Most of our holidays and activities are very kindly offered free of charge by a variety of local businesses.

If and when suitable holiday offers are received we contact the family to discuss the options; once the family has verbally accepted an offer we send a formal confirmation letter to the family which is also copied to the referee. The family is then contacted again a week before the holiday to check all is well for their trip.

We offer travel grants for one income or zero income families. Application for a travel grant must be made on our Grant Application form and submitted by the referee.

Our holidays may be half board hotels, bed and breakfast or self catering holidays (in which case food hampers are provided). We also include free entry to a wide range of local attractions and some cafes/restaurants – we aim to provide a fun filled holiday with as little outlay for the family as possible. All the accommodation, hospitality and free entry offers are generously donated by local businesses.

We can accept referrals up to eight weeks in advance of the planned holiday – most holiday providers are understandably unable to commit to offering free accommodation further in advance than this. Referral via NHS medical professionals, social workers or registered charity support workers.

Please note the chances of finding a suitable holiday is greatly increased if the family can be flexible with dates. Sadly school holidays requests are much more difficult to fill; we have so many families wanting to holiday then, and less availability from accommodation providers, but we will always do our very best to help.
Telephone: 01803325152

Make a Wish UK

We create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Whether it’s starring in their own films, walking with dinosaurs, going on an amazing holiday, meeting a celebrity hero, or having a bedroom makeover; our wishes are varied, personal and life-changing. We go above and beyond to grant amazing wishes to very amazing children; their One True Wish made a reality at a time when they need it most. Because a child’s life shouldn’t be about illness, hospitals and diagnosis – it should be about wonder, joy and hope.

Wishes are split into types: ‘I wish to be’, ‘I wish to go’, ‘I wish to have’ or ‘I wish to meet’

We accept wish referrals from parents, guardians and medical professionals.
Telephone: 01276 405 070

When you Wish Upon a Star

We create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. This could be an amazing holiday abroad (or even locally) or meeting your favourite super celeb. For some wishes there are Wish Properties (in Florida, Alicante + Cornwall). We also create Magical Memories, with short holidays to Lapland (to meet Father Christmas. The day includes Husky Rides, Sledging, Snowmobiling and Reindeer Riding and not forgetting toasting marshmallows around the open campfires, ending with a spectacular firework display).

Each December the North West Wish Team welcomes around 45 families to a snow filled Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest for a 4 day break. Each day is filled with exciting activities, not forgetting a very special visit from Santa, the highlight of the weekend is the spectacular children’s Ball. This 4 day break gives our families the perfect opportunity to unwind, have fun and make lots of magical memories, to treasure for a lifetime.

Children in Scotland can enjoy our Polar Express Trip. Our Wish children and their families from all over Scotland are transported on a magical trip; our destination is the World famous Glamis Castle, childhood home to the Queen Mother. Travelling on-board the luxurious Belmond Northern Belle sister train to the Venice-Simplon Orient-Express. Children will have a fun filled day, to include a special meeting with Santa Claus in his Grotto, designing their own Christmas Bauble, decorating Christmas biscuits, creating their own Christmas decorations, as well as singing and dancing at our Christmas Party, finishing off the magical day with a spectacular firework display. Our magical trip also includes fine dining on the Belmond Northern Belle’s with a lavish five course meal on the homeward journey.

For those in Licolnshire or Yorkshire, we also run the Santa Express, Destination: Santa’s Secret Retreat! The Santa Express is our special charter for the children of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, providing them with a magical day on board the themed carriages of the Belmond Northern Belle luxury train. From start to finish, the day provides children with excitement and adventure. An afternoon of fun, games and, of course, a special meeting with Santa is the highlight, before commencing our return trip whilst enjoying fine dining Christmas dinner – and extra special surprises.

We accept wish referrals from parents, guardians and medical professionals.

– Children between the ages of 2 – 16 with a life threatening or terminal illness.
– Children who have not had a wish granted by another charity.
Telephone: 0115 979 1720