Since we began supporting families in 1999, Tŷ Hafan has supported 1,097 children and families through life, death and beyond. As we reflect on the past 25 years, we acknowledge how much has been achieved, but also how much more there is to do.

The Children in Wales Requiring Palliative Care: Trends in Prevalence and Complexity report, jointly commissioned with the Welsh Government and published last year, found that the number of children with life-shortening conditions in Wales increased by a quarter between 2009 and 2019, and the complexities of the conditions those children are living with continues to increase.

That means the families of 1 in 172 children in Wales are facing the unimaginable: their children are expected to die in childhood.

More importantly for Tŷ Hafan, the research showed that for every child and family in Wales we can support, there are 9 more that we simply cannot yet reach. That’s thousands of families who live every day knowing their child’s life will be short, and they face it without any hospice support or palliative care.

Alone. Afraid. Isolated.

That’s why the next 25 years are so important.

Our ambition is that when a child’s life will be short, no family should have to live it on their own. Today, too many families are living it alone.

This is a huge ambition. It means we must re-align our services so that every family has access to the right care, at the right time, in the right place, delivered by the right person.

We must support more families closer to their homes, so they don’t have to travel long distances to access the specialist care and support they need. We must make sure that families have more choice about where their child dies, including at home, and work closely with others so that families get the support that is right for them.

It’s not going to be easy, but together we can make this happen.

25 years ago, Suzanne Goodall knew it wouldn’t be easy to build Wales’ first children’s hospice. But thanks to her vision and perseverance – and the support of the people of Wales – she made it happen.

Imagine a Wales where every child has access to the services they need, where they need them, and when they need them. A Wales where families have a choice about the care they receive. A Wales where no family faces the death of their child alone.

We don’t just imagine this Wales; we believe in it.