A day in the life of a wish designer

We often share the incredible, and heartfelt, stories of our wish kids. Their strength and resilience always inspires us to think outside the square when planning their wishes, and give them an experience that will have a lasting effect for many years to come.

But have you ever wondered what actually goes into making a wish happen?

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Meet Sarah
Head of Wish Design & Innovation

Sarah might have the coolest job title in the world, however making unicorn’s fly or bringing dinosaurs back from extinction isn’t always easy (although totally worth it!).

Sarah sat down with her dog Humphrey to share a little bit about what has gone into bringing Abbey’s wish to life!


What was Abbey’s brief to the Wish Design team?
No two wishes are ever the same and the imagination of our wish children never ceases to amaze me! Abbey had a really clear idea of what she wanted and when she sat down with our volunteers they were able to work with her and develop her amazing wish.

As soon as I received Abbey’s wish brief two things were really clear:

  • Abbey wanted to immerse herself in her passion for baking

  • Abbey wanted to share her experience with her best friends to show them how much they mean to her.

Abbey has such a wonderful personality and amazing creative vision that shone through in her wish brief. I’ve absolutely loved working with the team on her wish.


Sign up to Bake A Wish to help make wishes like Abbey's come true


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What are some of the key components of Abbey’s wish and why are they so important? 
Throughout her treatment, Abbey has spent a lot of time away from school. Not only has she separated from her friends but she has also missed out on the opportunity to be as creative and curious as her peers. It’s been really important for us to find a way to ensure these themes are weaved through her wish journey.

Abbey’s wish features lots of mentoring from amazing dessert chefs, and lots of input into the design of the day for her guests. Abbey truly is in charge and she’s the boss of the wish team. It’s important that she’s able to take control of the wish day.

We also want to make sure that the wish realisation is a memory that she can share with her friends forever so we’ve included some little keepsakes to keep the wish front of mind for the future.


What has been the most challenging part of designing Abbey’s wish?
Abbey is really creative and has really high expectations of her design. It’s been exciting to rise to the challenge of her theme!

Abbey’s focus has been around delighting her guests which is incredibly important to us, but we want to make sure that we surprise and delight Abbey as well. So far it’s been a fun challenge to try and incorporate some sneaky surprises into her wish journey and make this really memorable for Abbey as well as her friends.


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What does it mean for wish kids and their families when they know they have the support of the #WishForce?

As we don’t receive any government funding Make-A-Wish relies on the support of individuals, partners, volunteers and the wider community to make every wish journey an amazing one for the children we have the privilege of working with.

When a wish family finds out they have a whole tribe of people donating their time and money to bring their child’s wish to life it’s a huge boost. It makes you believe in humanity again – that’s one of the reasons my job is amazing! 


What is the strangest thing you have ever had to do in your job?
A lot of the conversations I have with people are hilarious. I’ve had deep discussions about whether Batman would need a space suit on the moon, which dinosaur is most likely to hang out with a princess, and how you would put a fish tank in a hot air balloon!

In terms of strange things I’ve done? I’ve had to teach traffic warden’s dance routines, I’ve turned a train into a spaceship for the day, I’ve made a cloud machine out of pillow stuffing and old cardboard tubes and I’ve even played cricket on the pitch of the MCG with a 3-year-old. I’m a very lucky lady!