Funstation VIP Day brings Rays of Sunshine to four wish children and their families

 Leading FEC Funstation hosted what was described as “an incredibly heartwarming VIP Day” at Xscape in Milton Keynes last week in collaboration with children’s charity Rays of Sunshine. The special event, which was supported by the Bacta Charitable Trust, was organised to ‘brighten the lives of seriously ill children’- notably four wish children John,Eden, Harry, and Daisy-May – and their families.

 Wish children were given special status last week when they were invited to be VIPs for the day as Funstation rolled out the red carpet in preparation for their arrival.And it was a busy day for the wish families who were treated to a variety of activities, including arcade games including basketball, air hockey, VR and the dance mat at Funstation, adventure golf at Volcano Falls and bowling gifted by Hollywood Bowl.

It was a special day, noted the charity, “filled with laughter, joy, and unforgettable experiences”.

When asked about her favourite part of the day, Daisy-May exclaimed: “Everything! We’ve done some basketball, golf, dance machines, and won prizes. I would definitely come back again!”

Wish child, John agreed: “My favourite part of the day was the adventure golf at Volcano Falls, it was lots of fun and I really liked the courses, they were challenging but not too tricky.”

The families all echoed this enthusiasm, expressing their gratitude for the event, especially after such a challenging year. One family mentioned: “The day has been incredible, thank you so much for organising it.”

And they left their mark for other wish children that would follow, with most of the families donating their prize points from the day back to be converted into wishes for other families.

It was a day that James Miller, CEO of Funstation, was particularly proud of.  “The feedback we’ve received so far has been incredibly positive and heartwarming, particularly from Rays of Sunshine and the wish families. We’ve always been a great supporter of the children’s charity and it was amazing to see families, create beautiful memories together.”

It was an event that drew huge support from the local community, including local MPs, Xscape representatives, local media outlets and amusements trade association Bacta – a long standing supporter of the Rays of Sunshine organisation through the Bacta Charitable Trust. 

There was also a special surprise appearance from Sunny, the beloved mascot, bringing even more joy to the day.

Dignitaries were on hand to pay tribute and lend their support. The Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Marie Bradburn, and local MP Ben Everitt both attended and helped Funstation present a cheque for £5,000 to Rays Of Sunshine’s CEO,Dan Assor. 

Marie Bradburn and Ben Everitt met some of the wish families and played games with the children, adding a special touch to the day. The Mayor shared her experience, saying: “I’ve played football – not very well, scored about four goals, played some basketball, had some great food at Volcano Falls and met the wish families.

“Big shout out to Rays of Sunshine; they are an amazing organisation doing wonderful work in Milton Keynes, but also throughout the UK. I am proud to be the Mayor of Milton Keynes, with such an amazing charity at our doorstep. Thank you so much for inviting me.”

It was also a special day for the local MP. “It was a privilege to take part in the VIP Day and see the fantastic work Rays of Sunshine do to support families with seriously ill children,” said former MP and current Conservative candidate for Milton Keynes North, Ben Everitt. 

“It was lovely to chat with parents of wish families and I had so much fun competing with the kids at Funstation. What a fantastic  day!”

John Bollom, Bacta President, was delighted at the success of the event. He said: “Bacta is immensely proud to have a long-term partnership with Rays of Sunshine. The event at Funstation  in Milton Keynes was inspiring. It demonstrated the positive difference that Rays of Sunshine can make to the lives of seriously ill young people and their families. It also showcased a superb family entertainment sector which brings joy to the children who visit.”

For Rays of Sunshine the VIP Day was a huge success. Amy Chambers, Director  of Fundraising and Communications at the charity, expressed her appreciation to all the parties involved in making the event so successful.

“I’m so grateful to be here today. Funstation has been supporting us for over a decade. Today, we’ve had a VIP day for some of our very special children and their families. They’ve had the best day ever – lots of food, unlimited arcade games, adventure golf, and other activities. We’ve had so much positive feedback, it’s events like this that means so much to them. They’re living with a very serious illness, it’s important for them to enjoy these experiences. Knowing that they are inclusive and accessible and they’ve have got no worries on the day. Thank you so much to Funstation for making the event happen!”

She added: “A special thanks to James Miller, owner of Funstation, an incredible supporter and one of our biggest ambassadors.”

Funstation was equally keen to pay tribute, stating: “We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make the day special. Special thanks go to the Mayor of MK, Marie Bradburn; Former MP, Ben Everitt;CEO of Rays of Sunshine, Dan Assor;Sophie Lockyer and Ed from Xscape MK for their incredible support; and Hollywood Bowl for donating bowling games. Appreciation goes to the Bacta Trustees, including President John Bollom, for their support. A big thanks to the local media, including MKFM and Destination MK, for their coverage, as well as My Milton Keynes Bid, and of course,Sunny the mascot for making an appearance.”

It added: “The VIP Day at Funstation was a great success,filled with smiles, laughter, and a sense of community.It was a day that the wish children and their families will always remember.To those looking to get involved in donating and helping Rays Of Sunshine grant more magical wishes, you can visit Funstation and play on the games and gift any unused prize points to the children’s charity.”