A group of dads supported by Tŷ Hafan braved tough weather conditions to tackle the three highest peaks in Wales to raise vital funds for the charity that means so much to their families.
The GE Aviation Wales sponsored event, which has raised more than £1.4m for Tŷ Hafan since its launch in 1998, saw more than 400 participants climb Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales – before scaling the mighty Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan – all in less than 15 hours.
They covered a total distance of 20.35 miles in rain and heavy fog before being greeted with a heroes welcome and a well-deserved BBQ, kindly provided by Just Perfect Catering, at the finish point in Pen y Fan.
The dads’ team included Gary Footman, Adam Bayjoo, Ben Jones and Chis Jenkins who all share a common bond as they are supported by Tŷ Hafan – the hospice for children in Wales.
Ben Jones’ four-year-old daughter, Hallie Mae, was referred to Tŷ Hafan two years ago as she suffers from a rare genetic condition called Cri Du Chat. Infants with the condition often have a high-pitched cry that sounds like a cat.
Ben, from Barry, who enjoyed the challenge so much that he wants to do it again next year, said: “Tŷ Hafan has done so much for Hallie Mae and our family so it was great to give something back by taking part in the Welsh3Peaks Challenge. It was a really tough day but I just kept thinking about what we were doing it for which gave me a real boost. It was really good to do it with a great bunch of guys who have all been helped by Tŷ Hafan and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Tŷ Hafan’s Male Support Worker, Gareth Jenkins, joined the dads’ group for the challenge. “What our families are going through is extremely tough,“ said Gareth.
“The Welsh3Peaks Challenge was a chance for the dads to raise money and give something back, but ultimately build life-long friendships that will help them along their journeys.”
The popular event helps Tŷ Hafan provide care and support for the increasing number of life-limited children and their families from across Wales being referred to its services.
Sali Thomas, Tŷ Hafan Events Manager, said: “Our 80 teams took on the Welsh3peaks through some of the worst weather conditions we have ever seen. Well done and thank you so much to each and every one of the participants who took part. We'd also like to thank our headline sponsors, GE Aviation Wales, and their 90 amazing volunteer marshals who did a fantastic job in keeping the walkers motivated and safe. Thanks too to Just Perfect Catering for providing the delicious BBQ at Pen-y-Fan.”
Other supporters included Brecon Carreg - Welsh Natural Mineral Water, 9bar, Burtons Biscuits, Pot Noodle, Garth Bakery, Op Chocolates and L'Oreal.
On supporting the Welsh Three Peaks challenge, La-Chun Lindsay, Managing Director of GE Aviation Wales said: “We are delighted and proud to support the Welsh 3 Peaks challenge. At GE Aviation Wales, the challenge is the highlight of our volunteering calendar and now in its 17th year, the event is still going strong. I was fortunate enough to visit the hospice before this year’s challenge to witness the amazing care Tŷ Hafan provides to a variety of children and their families. The impact Tŷ Hafan has in both the community and on families is incredible and events like this enable the remarkable work at Tŷ Hafan to continue.
“The atmosphere on the day was inspiring and it was amazing to see people coming together to raise money and awareness for such a wonderful charity and worthwhile cause.”
Tŷ Hafan’s is now planning its next fundraising event – the Aberdare Rainbow Run – on 18 July.