Who They Are
Starlight Children’s Foundation brightens the lives of children, young people and their families when their lives are turned upside down by serious illness and hospitalisation.
Over 560,000 Starlight experiences are created every year, helping to support the wellbeing of the whole family as they confront the reality of serious illness.
Starlight’s mission is “To brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families”. Because sick kids are still kids at heart…
From a single wish granted in 1988, Starlight is now recognised as an integral part of the Australian healthcare system.
“Our unique programs are developed in partnership with Australian health professionals, and are the result of extensive and ongoing research. They’re based on positive psychology principles, supporting the “total care” of children and young people,” they say.
We positively disrupt the relentless cycle of pain and trauma and offer a welcome break to families when they need it most. That’s the difference Starlight makes.”
When a once-bright life becomes dulled by needles, hospital visits and painful treatments, Starlight helps sick kids forget their illness and re-discover the joy of childhood.
Starlight is distinctly Australian. Their unique programs are the result of extensive research and respond to the specific needs of Aussie kids and teens.
They know what kids and their families are facing when serious illness or injury consumes their lives. The Foundation disrupts the relentless cycle of pain and trauma and offer a welcome break so that sick kids can simply be kids.
“We believe fun fights fear and wins every time. We replace pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter. And the result? Kids can forget about being sick and just be kids. We help sick kids and their families take a break and find some much-needed joy and happiness during difficult times,” they day.
Starlight’s programs are underpinned by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) model of social health – improving mental and social wellbeing has a positive impact on overall physical health.
Research shows sick kids and teens face different challenges to adult patients and are entitled to play, imagine and dream so they can continue to develop physically, mentally and socially.
A Starlight Wish is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a seriously ill child and their family.
An incredible gift of hope during the toughest of times, Starlight Wishes help sick kids and their families dream big and leave the pain of treatment behind.
Livewire is an online community specifically for teens (aged 12-20) living with a serious illness, disability or chronic health condition.
Through Livewire, young people can connect with others who get what they’re going through.
It’s a fun and supportive place where young people can chat, share, laugh, get creative and just be themselves.
Livewire helps young people dealing with serious illness feel valued, make friends and learn to cope with stress and anxiety.
Starlight Express Rooms
While sick kids often experience a very adult world of stress and trauma, play is the powerful force essential to developing resilience, wellbeing and a sense of normality.
Starlight Express Rooms are a medical free haven for sick kids and their families seeking a welcome break from the relentless cycle of medical treatments and procedures. It’s the place we get down to the serious business of having fun!
Through Starlight’s Healthier Futures Initiative, Captain Starlight visits kids in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Working alongside health professionals throughout communities across the Northern Territory and Western Australia, Captain Starlight entertains kids and performs under the open skies.
Captain Starlight builds trust and sparks lasting relationships between health professionals, kids and the community, easing stress and pressure on healthcare clinics. By engaging with kids through song dance and storytelling, Starlight has helped to boost health clinic attendance.
Uniquely Australian, Livewire was developed to support the growing numbers of young people living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability
Through both hospital-based workshops and a safe online community, Livewire aims to lift their spirits, enhance self-esteem and help build confidence and resilience.
In hospitals around the country, Livewire runs over 2,000 creative workshops every year covering everything from music and photography to film making, creative writing, animation and coding.
Medical treatment is only part of the picture when it comes to the wellbeing of a seriously ill child. While health professionals focus on treating illness, Captain Starlight is the super hero who captures a sick kid’s imagination and creates a healing environment filled with entertainment, fun, laughter and joy.
Below is a snapshot of the Starlight Foundation highlights over the year 2018.
- Throughout the year 2018, the Foundation granted 540 Starlight Wishes bringing lasting joy and happiness to sick kids facing the unimaginable pain and sadness of being sick and in hospital.
- 100% of the Wish families said they would recommend a Wish experience to another family.
- The 2018 annual Wish Week packed lots of fun adventures into seven days. A highlight of the week was the learn to surf day with surfing world champion and Starlight Ambassador Mick Fanning.
- To mark Starlight’s milestone anniversary, 30 Starlight families celebrated 30 years at 30,000 feet thanks to the Foundation’s Official Wishgranting partner Virgin Australia.
Starlight Express Rooms
- Starlight Express Rooms had 175,781 visits across the country.
- The Foundation opened two brand new Starlight Express Rooms – at Sydney Children’s Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital. The new state of the art rooms are light and vibrant places with larger arts and crafts areas, super cool kitchens and more gaming fun.
- Starlight Express Rooms welcomed lots of VIP visitors from Olympic athletes to the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games!
- With 161 Captain Starlights now landing on Earth every day, sick kids in hospital can escape the pain of hospital and laugh and play and just be kids.
- Starlight Foundation also launched a new initiative this year called Captains on Call where specially trained Captain Starlights have joined the burns clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Adelaide to support kids during their treatments.
- For kids too sick to leave their hospital bed, Captain Starlight brought the fun to them with 117,260 visits to kids on hospital wards last year.
- Captain Starlight made 145 trips to visit 86 remote communities.
- Livewire provided 44,177 hospital experiences to teens with a serious or chronic illness. Think craft clubs, art shows, live music, virtual reality and more.
- Beyond hospital, there were 22,462 log-ins to Livewire online helping teens to connect with others and give a big warm welcome to 459 new Livewire members.
- During the year, they successfully trialled the expansion of Livewire to young people in the adult hospital at Westmead with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Ways to Donate
You can donate here either as a one off or set up monthly payments to help sick kids in Australia.
You can also shop the Starlight Foundation’s online store for cards, gifts, kids toys, celebrations favours and more.
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