When you think of how you’d like to celebrate turning the big 4-0, your mind might first go to a party or that holiday you’ve always fancied….But Gareth Powell, a dad of two from Ebbw Vale is celebrating in a very different way.

Over the next few months, Gareth will be taking on a series of fundraising challenges for Tŷ Hafan which he has aptly named his ‘Year of Giving Back’. The challenges will see him run the Newport Marathon, the Porthcawl 10k and the Swansea Bay 10k, as well as the 40-mile Vogum Ultramarathon and the 33-mile Rat Race – Sea to Summit Yr Wyddfa.

“I turn 40 this year and, instead of celebrating, I thought it more prevalent to put my efforts into raising money for charity,” says Gareth. “I’ve run several events and always for children’s charities, but these have been national charities, so this time I thought I’d focus my efforts on a charity that was more local to myself that supported children and their families in a meaningful way.”

Gareth first became aware of Tŷ Hafan when he came across a social media post advertising running spaces for the Barry Island 10k in 2023.

“Having previously run multiple events in aid of children’s charities made me delve deeper into the work being done by Tŷ Hafan. I was taken aback and impressed by what the charity does, and this very much spurred me on to sign up and run the Barry Island 10k,” he shares.

Gareth Powell running with his dog

(A special shoutout to Gareth’s dog Loki (above) who tags along for every training run).

After the event, Gareth continued to follow our social media pages, and this was what inspired him to want to continue to fundraise and take part in our events, saying: “Seeing Tŷ Hafan’s work in my feed kept impressing me”.

Thank you for your incredible support, Gareth, we’re very much looking forward to cheering you on at the Newport Marathon on Sunday 28th April! If you’re feeling inspired, we still have some spaces to run the Newport 10k on this date, you can sign up here.

“I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank anybody who takes the time to do any of these things as it truly will help this amazing charity and all the essential work and support that they provide to the children and families of children with life-shortening conditions,” Gareth adds.

You can donate to Gareth’s ‘Year of Giving Back’ via his Just Giving or you can support by following his journey and engaging with his posts on Instagram to help spread the message.