The bacta Charitable Trust has set itself an ambitious target of increasing its contribution to the Rays of Sunshine charity to over £500,000 by the end of 2017.
The target, which equates to an additional £190,000, will be boosted by #Tickets2wishes, a simple and fun initiative designed primarily for the association’s FEC members.
“We urge all operators of redemption machines to participate in this fun, easy, fundraising opportunity, and in the process help brighten the lives of children who are less fortunate.”
#Tickets2wishes is administered by bacta in aid of Rays of Sunshine, which has been bacta’s charity partner since 2012. It is a very simple formula whereby customers donate their left over redemption tickets into a special merchandised tube, then whatever the ticket value, the operator matches the amount and passes it on to bacta, who in turn donate it to Rays of Sunshine.
Any money that’s donated is tax deductible, making #Tickets2wishes a winner all around!
#Tickets2wishes kits are available at £100 plus VAT and are available from Parveen Sharma Parveen@bacta.org.uk.
Bacta vice president, James Miller, who helped pioneer the concept and has raised a staggering £10,000 to date, said: “This is all about friends and family having fun together, and we wanted to do something that would help make happy memories for families who may not be having such a fun time at the moment. #Tickets2wishes seemed like the perfect way for us to help raise money for Rays of Sunshine and, at the same time, engage with our customers and the community at large. Families either on holiday or having fun for the day, have appreciated the opportunity to support other families who are less fortunate.”
He added: “From our experience, #Tickets2wishes also represents an excellent opportunity for businesses and the amusements industry, to benefit from positive PR and extend their social media profile. We’ve found it’s very important to shout about the positive fundraising stories on social media: it has helped to raise the profile of Rays of Sunshine and shown the positive side of the industry, it’s a great partnership and very fulfilling for everyone involved – the charity, the venue, the customers, the industry and most importantly, the individual recipients and his/her family.
“The great thing about #Tickets2Wishes is that the money raised could grant a wish to a seriously ill child in your area. This is such a positive message as everyone involved in your community gets to see the wishes they’ve helped create. It’s important to encourage everyone to post to #Tickets2wishes and follow @tickets2wishes on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. “We urge all operators of redemption machines to participate in this fun, easy, fundraising opportunity, and in the process help brighten the lives of children who are less fortunate.”
Jane Sharpe, chief executive of Rays of Sunshine, said “Over the past six years, bacta members have worked tirelessly to help us grant magical wishes for seriously ill children across the UK, raising over £300,000. Members have taken on a host of challenges all in the name of Rays of Sunshine, including cycling 100 miles across London, taking on all 26.2 miles of the London Marathon and will be taking on 10 Peaks in 24 hours! We can only continue our work thanks to the generous support of organisations such as bacta and its members. #Tickets2wishes has been extremely successful to date and we urge operators to jump on the bandwagon and continue this exciting trend.”
One of the early beneficiaries of #Tickets2wishes was 12-year old Joseph, from Normanton near Leeds, who is currently living with Complex Congenital Heart Disease and being treated at Leeds General Infirmary. Due to his condition, he has had to endure five heart operations and faces the prospect of further surgery in the future.
Despite this, he has a real passion for football and supports both Hartlepool and Chelsea. Thanks to Rays of Sunshine, Joseph attended the Sky Studios in West London to meet Hartlepool’s most famous fan, broadcaster Jeff Stelling, to see how the popular Soccer Saturday programme was made, have a tour of the studio and meet the stars of the show.
To round-off the experience, Joseph was treated to a VIP Day at James Miller’s FunStation venue near his home in Leeds. John White, bacta’s chief executive, believes the latest initiative demonstrates the bond that members have developed with Rays of Sunshine.
He said: “This is a fabulous charity that bacta and its members have supported for nearly six years. To see how that support has been translated by Rays of Sunshine into giving such pleasure and joy to children with life-limiting illnesses has touched every single person in the business. I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of this industry and I am certain #Tickets2wishes will prove to be a formidable fundraising initiative which will help us meet our target and enable us to make more wishes come true.”
To receive your #Tickets2wishes ‘kit’ comprising a tube and a poster, please contact Parveen Sharma Parveen@bacta.org.uk.