Bradley School Charities

Bradleys Both School Council has chosen the charities of 'Rays of Sunshine' and we are supporting the village of Chimombo in Malawi.

Rays of Sunshine       

Rays of Sunshine Children’s charity was formed in 2003 to grant the wishes of children who are living with a serious or life threatening illnesses between the ages of 3 and 18 who live in the United Kingdom.

They have since granted over 3,000 wishes to some of the bravest children in the country. There are currently 49,000 children and young people in the UK living with a serious or life limiting illness, this figure is increasing every year. Rays of Sunshine believes every child deserves to experience happiness and a chance to put their illness on hold – even if it’s just for one day!

Anyone who has seen the impact a wish can have on a sick child and their family understands the power of a wish. For an ill child having their dream come true benefits them in all sorts of ways. Every wish is unique to the child themselves, if a child wishes to be a ballerina, meet a celebrity or go on holiday and spend quality time with their family, Rays of Sunshine works hard to make the wish as special and magical as possible – creating happy memories for the whole family. These wishes bring hope, happiness and memories to wish children and their families.

In addition to granting wishes, Rays of Sunshine grants hospital ward wishes and arranges outings and events for groups of seriously ill children. Ward wishes have included parties, a sensory garden and trips out. Ward wishes enable Rays of Sunshine to help hundreds more children and make their stay in hospital a little more bearable.

More than 2,000 wish children and their families attend the annual Rays of Sunshine concert at the Royal Albert Hall in which they are given an evening to forget about their illness and enjoy something that most children may take for granted. The evening gives thousands of children the opportunity to see their favourite singers perform on stage.

Wishes range from £500 to £6,000. Five hundred pounds will grant a child’s wish to be collected by Limousine, and taken to Legoland to spend a day of fun there! More expensive wishes include holidays abroad like wishes to go to Lapland or Disney World. You can watch wish videos, pledge films and find further information out about Rays of Sunshine by going to www.raysofsunshine.org.uk  

Chimombo village in Malawi 

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with 51% of the population living below the poverty line and 25% living in extreme poverty. The average family lives on less than $1 a day.  Over a million children in Malawi are orphans because of HIVAids. 85% of people live in the countryside. Most Malawians rely on subsistence farming, but the food supply situation is precarious because of the climate. Children struggle to have one meal a day. Because of poverty, 30% of children don’t start primary school even though it is free.

From 2016-2018 our Chair of Governors, John Midgley, has visited Chimombo in Malawi to build houses for vulnerable children. Chimombo is very rural and very poor.

When he retired from his job last year John set himself a retirement challenge to raise money to build a nursery for the village which would help improve the opportunity for young children in the area, prepare them for primary school at the age of 6 and help ensure they had a better education. The nursery school was completed in September this year with 256 children on the register, some travelling up to 12 kilometres to attend.

Part of the John’s deal was to provide a simple meal of cornflour porridge (nsima) to the children each day. This has proved very popular and there are now 288 children attending the nursery. Safe in the knowledge that there young children are being fed, this means that mothers can seek piece work rather than spend time sourcing food and cooking a meal.

There is a desperate need to dig a borehole near the nursery so that the children can have access to clean water – clean, at least, in their terms. There is also a need for the provision of porridge to be sustainable over time and for the supply of basic things such as paper, pencils and crayons.

Bradley School Council have kindly agreed to support John’s charity and through this support create a close link with Chimombo nursery and help those who are so less fortunate than we are.