Welcome to Miles of Smiles

Miles of Smiles is a very small charity run by a very small team – currently 4 trustees/volunteers. We are based in Leyland, Lancashire and our ‘Head Office’ is the spare bedroom – no expense spared. But, we like to think we go the extra MILE to make some truly lovely SMILES and make some fantastic memories.

Read some of our cards

Who we are

Having spent some years volunteering for a large wish granting charity, founder, Karen Rainford decided it would be the natural progression to start her own charity. (She didn’t think it through!) But what should it be?………………..

It had to be for children.  It had to be local.  It had to be run by volunteers – no paid staff at all ever. And importantly –  It had to make children smile. In her time with the wish granting charity, Karen had become aware of two things:  Firstly, whilst the fundamental objective of the wish granting charity was joyous – it involved the saddest situations with children who often had a short time to live.   However, one of the main things she had noticed was the smiles of the youngsters concerned. Massive smiles.  Big beamy smiles.  Wonderful, wondrous smiles.

And secondly, that the siblings of the ill youngsters were often overlooked.  Through no fault of anyone really, and it was completely understandable in the circumstances.  Karen thought they needed a bit of something to make them feel like someone was thinking about them,  cared and to make them smile.

Decision made – local, volunteers, smiley and for the siblings of seriously ill children.  Many discussions took place over the days and weeks and – akin to being on the road to Damascus – we realised that we should include all young carers.  Youngsters who spend their days and nights caring for someone else.  Youngsters whose lives are ruled by the clock and time (or lack of it).  Youngsters who have forgotten how to be young.

And so it started……………………………… Miles of Smiles had begun.