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Make a Smile UCL
Welcome to Make a Smile!We believe that all children deserve a childhood and understand that illness or disability can make this very difficult for some children. Our goal is to help these children to enjoy their childhood. We endeavour to be professional, forward-thinking and well trained but hold at the forefront of our practice that fun is the number one priority for both children and…

At Make a Smile, our goal is to ensure that no child misses out on the magic of childhood. We visit children in hospices, care homes, and other locations where children may miss vital play opportunities and we aim to give them a chance to have fun and interact with their idols.

Our character volunteers are the heart and soul of what we do - dress up as Belle, Elsa, Spiderman, a student at Hogwarts and more! The children we visit always love seeing their heroes in real life, so whether it's reading them a book, getting involved in an activity or just telling them about your most recent potions class, you'll be making their day and putting smiles on their faces. 

If you thought you were too old to dress up and relive your childhood, want to help ensure children with disabilities, long term health issues, or in areas of deprivation don't miss out, and enjoy bringing smiles to people's faces, this could be for you! 



Dress up as a variety of available characters, choosing from the costumes we have in our wardrobe and attend events at hospices, hospitals, libraries and more. 

Previous volunteers have been involved in hospice family days, going round and talking with children whilst others have read books, engaged in sing-alongs, and use bubble machines to create a fun environment for children. 


If you would rather not dress up, but would still love to attend events, take a look at our other opportunities such as magic-maker!

Who will the volunteers be working with?
Mainly children with long term illnesses, disabilities, or in hospices.
1) Complete introduction training on the Make a Smile Website or attend one of our introduction training sessions
2) Complete UCL SU Safeguarding training
3) Complete UCL working with children
and that's it! You're done!
Some centres require DBS checks, but you can get these from the UCL SU and we're more than happy to talk you through the process!

Time commitment

As much or as little as you want! Once you've completed training you can get involved with regular events and visits to children, or just go for a one-off event! Visits usually take a couple hours or longer, and you can choose opportunities that work around your university life.

Once you have completed 20 hours of volunteering you may be selected as a Lead volunteer for events which means you can confirm with the event organisers directly (if you want), and take the extra commitment of looking out for the other volunteers attending with you!

This is an opportunity offered by a Student-Led Volunteering Project. It is run by UCL students and supported and supervised by staff in Students' Union UCL Volunteering Service.