Wow! 2018 was filled with incredible milestones thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
From one Starlight Wish granted 30 years ago, in 2018 we created over 576,000 life-changing Starlight Experiences for sick kids across Australia. We also celebrated the first year of our Reconciliation Action Plan.
What amazing achievements to mark our 30th anniversary.
Throughout the year, we granted 540 Starlight Wishes bringing lasting joy and happiness to sick kids facing the unimaginable pain and sadness of being sick and in hospital. Additionally, 100% of our Wish families told us they would recommend a Wish experience to another family.
Nicolas' Starlight Wish to star in his very own superhero movie was a bright light after years of battling illness. Planning for his Wish and getting to be a superhero was an experience he'll never forget. His mum said thanks to Starlight, Nicolas now believes that anything is possible!
Our annual Wish Week packed more fun into seven days than you thought possible! It was an unforgettable week for sick kids and families to take a break from hospital and meet up with other families who understand what they're going through.
A highlight of the week was the learn to surf day with none other than surfing world champion and Starlight Ambassador Mick Fanning - you couldn't wipe the smiles off the kids' faces!
Thanks to our supporters we 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.
In 2018 our 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.
We 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.
For older kids, 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.
Livewire is now helping more teens than ever before. During the year, we successfully trialled the expansion of Livewire to young people in the adult hospital at Westmead with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were thrilled to expand our Healthier Futures Initiative and in 2018, Captain Starlight made 145 trips to visit 86 remote communities.
Recognising the different needs of families, this year we began piloting a new program, "Starlight Moments" in partnership with Palliative Care teams at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and the Sydney Children's Hospital Network. The aim is to create special moments, both big and small, for families of children and teenagers with life-limiting illnesses to share, enjoy and remember.
Starlight continued to share our expertise with conference presentations, research publications and building collaborations to increase sector knowledge. In addition to funding two PhD scholarships, this year we commenced a new research project with UNSW and progressed the "Listen Carefully" Project, focusing on the rights of children and young people to be heard in healthcare.
At Starlight, our most important responsibility is safeguarding children and young people, so we were delighted to receive formal Safeguarding Children Accreditation from the Australian Childhood Foundation.
Of course, none of these achievements happen without our supporters and volunteers. It took over 37,000 volunteer hours to deliver our programs in 2018! What an amazing effort.
Thank you for all you do to help sick kids shine bright. We can't wait to see what we can achieve together in 2019!