#Tickets2Wishes, the simple and fun redemption initiative developed as part of UK trade association bacta’s fundraising campaign in aid of Rays of Sunshine, has been described as “a fantastic example of using creativity to generate much welcomed funds but also raising awareness of Rays of Sunshine at the same time” by the charity’s CEO, Jane Sharpe.

Administered by bacta in aid of Rays of Sunshine, #Tickets2Wishes encourages customers attending Britain’s Family Entertainment Centres to donate their left over redemption tickets into a special merchandised tube. The operator matches the amount and then passes it on to bacta, who in turn donate it to Rays of Sunshine. So far #Tickets2Wishes has generated in excess of £10,000, with bacta Vice president, James Miller confident the increase in footfall during the summer season will see a concomitant rise in funds generated. “One of the great things about bacta’s relationship with Rays of Sunshine is the way in which members have approached the task of fundraising and the energy they have and continue to put into it,” he said. “#Tickets2Wishes enables members to use their business to generate funds, raise profile for their venues, the industry and the charity without having to don one single piece of lycra or dust off their running shoes!”

With approaching 50 fully merchandised units sold to date, James is both pleased with the progress and confident about the future. He confirmed: “I think the concept has been well received by members: as the summer season gets into full swing and with more people choosing to holiday at home, I’m sure #Tickets2Wishes will make an important contribution to funding more wishes for children. Although Rays of Sunshine is a national charity it has a local focus, which means we can grant wishes to children in the same areas as the FEC’s that helped to create them. We know this because we’ve done it several times now.

“The entire family unit benefits from the granting of wishes and what we’ve found is that families enjoying themselves at an FEC connect with the concept of helping another family like themselves but which finds itself in less fortunate circumstances. At the bacta Parliamentary Reception in November I was privileged to meet with some of the families bacta has helped and it was a humbling experience to learn how much our collective efforts have meant not just for the children themselves but in providing their families with treasured memories.”

Since bacta adopted Rays of Sunshine as its charity partner some six years ago, the relationship between both organisations has flourished, with more and more members getting involved in fund raising activities of all descriptions. This commitment was manifest in a cheque presentation for £30,000 which was made to Rays of Sunshine after the most recent meeting of National Council held at bacta HQ in Ely Place, London.

On receiving the cheque, Jane Sharpe said: “This latest sum takes the total raised by bacta to an incredible £310,000, a sum which has enabled Rays of Sunshine to grant many hundreds of magical wishes for brave and deserving seriously ill children across the UK. For this, we can’t be more thankful. Bacta and its members are a part of the Rays of Sunshine family and the relationship with its members runs deep, which is clearly demonstrated by the many fundraising events which are held throughout the year to raise money on our behalf.”