Have you seen Peter Pan at a Cardiff children’s ward recently? It could well be the student-led Make A Smile project.
Initially set up in June 2017 by 21-year-old Luke Morgan, the Make a Smile project is led by Cardiff University students who volunteer their spare time to visit unwell children mostly in hospitals, to interact and play games with them all whilst dressed as beloved characters.
With over 170 of volunteers already on board, so far, the group has visited over 3000 children over 1000 hours, lighting up their faces and bringing a little joy to their lives to help them forget about their afflictions, courtesy of their favourite storybook idols like Superman, Frozen’s Elsa, Rapunzel and many more.
Thanks to its hard work and perseverance, the project has recently gained more support across Cardiff from Cardiff University and St David’s Catholic College as it strives to help as many children as possible who are affected by hardship.
Speaking of his project, Luke Morgan said:
“I set up this project as I want to put a smile onto the faces of as many children as possible. We believe that the hardship that these kids face can result in them maturing faster than they would otherwise and missing out on a key part of their development. Regardless of illness or capabilities, I believe all children deserve to have a happy childhood and I couldn’t think of anything better than bringing their favourite characters to their lives.
“We are a student-led charity that is comprised of mostly Cardiff University medical students and I’m already incredibly proud of the work that we’ve carried out thanks to the support of Cardiff University and mostly recently my former college, St David’s Catholic College. But we’re always on the lookout for volunteers and for more support to ensure that we can reach as many children as possible.”
Luke is known to dress up regularly as Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, encouraging children to use their imagination and embrace their childhood by creating games around pirates and treasure hunting. His enthusiasm and encouragement has been well-received by both parents and children.
Speaking of the group, Mark Leighfield, Principal of St David’s Catholic College said: “It’s fantastic to see our former students achieve in anything that they do but what Luke is creating with Make A Smile is truly inspirational. In our 30 years of educating, we have always wanted to create a supportive environment and it’s great to see that this message has continued outside of the college and has been woven into the surrounding community by one of our former students. We’re very happy to be supporting Luke and look forward to seeing our current students volunteering alongside him very soon.”
For more information about Make A Smile or to show your support, you can visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MakeASmileNFP/