Hello, I’m Claire, the new PR Manager for Tŷ Hafan. I’m here for the next six months, and my role is to help raise the profile of Tŷ Hafan by looking after its day-to-day press activity, building on its ever-increasing media coverage.
I’ve worked in the media, public relations and communications industry for more years than I care to remember, starting off in the days when issuing a press release was done by mail and fax and when Mark Zuckerberg was just coming out of nappies (or should I say diapers). My past employers have included tourism organisations, Government departments, a fire and rescue service and several charities. As a freelancer for the past few years, I’ve been involved in all sorts of weird and wonderful projects including writing news stories about bus spotters, operating the locks at Penarth Marina and launching Wales’ first ever manifesto for cats.
So, when the opportunity arose to become part of a high profile, much admired charity like Tŷ Hafan, I jumped at it.
I must admit that walking into the hospice for the first time, I did feel a little apprehensive about what I was about to find. Like many people, the word ‘hospice’ conjured up for me a mental image of poorly, sad people facing the end of their lives, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was confronted with the sight of one of the nurses doing an unfeasibly energetic little dance whilst the kids watched on with great amusement, the smells of a very tasty lunch cooking away nicely in the kitchen and the sound of children, families and staff laughing and chatting together.
Before I came here, I was aware of Tŷ Hafan and the work the charity does for children, but as every day passes, I’m finding more and more out about the tireless efforts of the organisation to raise vital funds, the true sense of team spirit that exists amongst the staff and volunteers, and how much the families of the children and young people who come here find solace and relief in the care provided by the team of truly remarkable nurses.
In the two short weeks I’ve been here, I’ve met some unbelievably cute children and their loving families, been invited to something called a ‘Crafternoon’, marvelled at how much ordinary people will push themselves to extraordinary limits to raise funds for the charity …. oh, and had a little go at reading the ITV Wales weather (which WASN’T televised!! I was terrible, to be fair).
It’s been incredibly interesting, informative and inspiring … here’s to the next six months.