It’s Father’s Day this Sunday (16 June) so this week, #FamilyFriday focusses on the Tŷ Hafan Dads’ support group, and a gruelling challenge that the dads have set themselves, to give something back to Tŷ Hafan.
Next month, 13 men will climb five UK mountains in 55 hours, to raise funds for Tŷ Hafan.
Quite a feat, admittedly, but not that unusual – lots of plucky people set themselves incredible challenges in the name of charity. But these are no ordinary men. Between them, they share a special, bitter-sweet bond that most people will never have – they’re all part of a family with children who have life-limiting conditions. Tŷ Hafan has been part of the men’s journey, providing comfort and support and helping them spend what time they have with their children in the best possible way.
All the men are members of the Tŷ Hafan Dads’ group – a support network that formed back in 2008 for fathers of children who have used Tŷ Hafan now or in the past. The group enables dads to meet others in the same situation, helping them share their worries and fears about having a child with a life-limiting condition.
On July 4th, the group will set off to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scarfell Pike in England, and Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan in Wales – all in 55 hours. Climbing a combined height of 5,187m and covering over 36 miles in total, the challenge is certainly about the dads pushing themselves to their physical limits – some have never climbed before or have even done much physical exercise - but it’s also about inspiring others, making friendships, sharing experiences good and bad and going some way towards overcoming the isolation that parenting a sick child brings. Their aim is to prove that together, they’re stronger.
The challenge was the brainchild of Family Support Worker, Gareth Jenkins, who runs the Dads’ Group at Tŷ Hafan and who joining the dads in their challenge.
Gareth said: “This is more than just a group of men climbing mountains, it is about showing others that no matter what the odds, no matter what obstacles lie before you, that you can accomplish anything”,
He added: “This is a group of dads who regardless of their current destination are walking the same journey in life and now want to walk together to inspire others and themselves. Dads are often expected to remain strong for the rest of the family, but they need support too. They’ve already said that the challenge is giving them something to focus on, helping them to change their physical and mental well-being and improve their self-belief”.
For more information on the 5in55 challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/tyhafan/fiveinfiftyfive