There are two ways you can help………
- Make a friend at your nearest Build A Bear Workshop and for every photo shared on twitter / Facebook / instagram or pinterest with the hashtag #shareukbabwwishes and £1 will be donated to make wishes come true.
- From 1st January 2014 to 31st March 2014 purchase a purple satin heart for a £1 donation from Build A Bear Workshop
But what is a visit to Build a Bear Workshop actually involve?
We were invited to our local Build a Bear Workshop in Bournemouth to find out.
We arrived at 11am and ventured into the warm and welcoming shop. The staff were friendly and instantly put us at ease. Eliza was shown all the different bears she could choose from, and although a little shy at first, she soon decided on a purple My Little Pony. Both Daddy and I had bets on her choosing a bright pink Hello Kitty though.
Chloe, the assistant looking after us write Eliza’s name on the label and explained to Eliza how exactly they were going to feed her Pony to make it fill up and become nice and snuggly.
The first job was to give the Pony a voice and Eliza had lots of fun choosing which one she wanted. They had “Kisses”, “Giggles” and even “My Little Pony music and speech” but Eliza chose to have one that says 6 different phrases. This was then inserted into the Pony’s front hoof before the stuffing began. Chloe attached the Pony to a large metal pole that was attached to a rotating “stuffing machine” and Eliza had to operate the machine with her foot. It was very loud, like a vacuum cleaner and she wasn’t sure at first, but she soon got the hang of it.
Once her Pony had been stuffed it was time to choose its heart to put inside. Eliza chose which one she wanted and Chloe helped her place it on the Pony to create the magic. It was rubbed on the Pony’s wings to make it fly, on its legs to make it run and on the ears so it could hear all Eliza’s secrets before a final wish. It was then put inside the Pony and the Pony sealed using very clever stitching (not before a special bar code was also added that could be scanned if the Pony ever got lost and handed into a Build a Bear Workshop, ensuring that it would find its way home). This was all repeated with Sebastian’s bear before they headed over to give them a bath and a brush.
Once the Pony and the Bear had their bath it was time to dress them. Choosing outfits is a fun as making the bears themselves and it was a tough choice as there is so much to choose from.
Eliza went for a cloak and shoes for her Pony, whilst Sebastian’s bear ended up dressed as a Jedi Knight, complete with a flashing light sabre (Daddy’s choice). It was then time to name them – Eliza chose the name “Purple” for hers and Sebastian’s was Yoda Teddy (original aren’t we). We input their details in the computer and then received a Bear Birth Certificate with all their details on, including hair and eye colour and height as well as their names.
Once we had finished, the bears were boxed in their very own houses ready for the journey home, with their birth certificates and details about how you can play with your very own bears online (for free).
We spoke to the store manager Mandy all about the Million Hearts A Million Wishes campaign and she explained that they helped many local schools, including Victoria School where my friend, Jade’s son George goes. She was really passionate about her job and the ability to give something back to the community, explaining that it can sometimes be difficult dealing with children with life limiting conditions, but the joy on their faces after the Build a Bear Workshop experience was worth it.
They also support BBC’s Children in Need with the chance to make your very own Pudsey and Blush bears and attend various Pay it Forward weekends.
Starlight brightens the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by wish granting and also by providing fun, entertainment, laughter and distraction for children in every children’s hospital ward and hospice throughout the United Kingdom. All Starlight’s activities are aimed at distracting children from the pain, fear and isolation they can often feel as a result of their illnesses and if you do not have a Build a Bear Workshop near you can donate here.
This weekend they are launching their new SuperHero bears which I know Isaac will love, Cannot wait to go back and show him, although we may need to avoid the Palace Pets as Eliza will want another one!