Make a Smile volunteers with children at their recent dress-up events. Credit: Luke Morgan.

Here’s how you can dress up as fantasy characters and help sick children’s dreams come true

A charity needs new volunteers to play characters from the likes of Frozen, Moana and Toy Story

CHILDREN who are ill, disabled or from a deprived background are being given the chance to meet their heroes thanks to the charity Make a Smile.

But they need more volunteers to make it all possible.  

The would-be Woodys and Elsas would be asked to visit children in hospitals, as well as those in deprived communities and even care homes.

“The joy on the children’s faces when they see their favourite character brought to life is really something special. It leaves me feeling like I’ve genuinely made a difference in their lives,” said Julia Bugelli. 

“I volunteer because everyone deserves a childhood. If I can help these children smile and give them happy memories, it is worth it.” 

The first-year medicine student at Cardiff University urges other people to volunteer for the “rewarding and heart-warming” role.  

“I always come home with a smile on my face. There was one time this young girl was so excited to see me dressed as Moana she was speechless and too nervous to talk to me,” said Ms Bugelli. 

“It made me smile when she came in the room later in the day with a handmade butterfly in Moana’s favourite colour. She thanked me for coming and started singing along with me.” 

Victoria Abrahams, another volunteer and past president of the charity, said: “I love helping people and seeing their day made better. It warms my heart. 

“I first saw the work of Make a Smile four years ago and it amazed me. I knew straight away I wanted to be part of something life changing.” 

Make a Smile is largely student-led and their volunteers dress as well-known characters visiting children in hospitals, those in deprived communities and even care homes. 

Founder Luke Morgan set the charity up six years ago in Cardiff while in his first year of studying medicine. 

“I was inspired by a video of a child with a hearing impairment meeting Tinkerbell,,” said Mr Morgan. “Tinkerbell knew some basic sign language and had the ability to sign ‘Hi, I am Tink’.

“Even this really basic sign language had a massive impact on the girl because it let her communicate with her hero. I wanted to make a child’s day like this.” 

Make a Smile works closely with hospices and other charities as part of its Project Play scheme.  

Mr Morgan said: “Hospitals are so busy. It is really hard for staff to organise things for the children. Project Play means we visit a specific hospital every week or two to take the pressure off the staff and give the children something to look forward to.” 

Although Make a Smile was founded in Cardiff, the charity’s success has seen it expand as far as Australia. 

“We are looking for volunteers to make a difference in the lives of struggling children. We need people to dress up as characters or work behind the scenes,” said Mr Morgan. 

If you are interested in volunteering for Make a Smile at any of their locations, email: