Maria Timon Samra, Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice, has announced that she will be stepping down from the role in 2024 after almost four years leading the charity. Maria, who joined Tŷ Hafan as Chief Executive in May 2020, has successfully led the charity through one of the most challenging periods to date for the sector.

This has included navigating the intense challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that Tŷ Hafan was agile in its approach to care provision for children with life-shortening conditions and their families. In addition, thanks to Maria’s leadership, the charity has raised its profile and the ongoing need for extensive fundraising in the context of the post-pandemic environment, with Tŷ Hafan’s supporter base, like those of all other charities, having been heavily impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.

Maria has also built a strong and capable Executive team who will build on her legacy. Tŷ Hafan’s Board of Trustees and Maria have agreed a transition period in early 2024.

Tŷ Hafan’s Chair of Trustees, Martin Davies, said: “On behalf of the whole board, I would like to express our deep gratitude for Maria’s leadership as our CEO. Maria joined us at the outset of the pandemic and steered the Charity through uncertain and difficult times. Under her stable leadership the charity has been galvanised around an inspirational shared purpose and this has put us in a very strong position as we approach our 25th year in operation”.

“Despite all the challenges, my tenure as Chief Executive at Tŷ Hafan has been one of the most rewarding periods to date in my 35-year career,” said Maria. “It has been my immense privilege to lead Tŷ Hafan; it is such a special charity. I have been very fortunate to lead an organisation so resolutely focused on ensuring that these children and their families, who face such unimaginable loss, are at the heart of everything we do”.

“Operating in a heavily regulated environment, Tŷ Hafan is more complex than one might imagine. The pressures of the pandemic certainly provided an additional dimension to my role, fast followed by the cost-of-living crisis which makes it incredibly challenging to raise the £5.6m currently needed per year to provide our care services. I have always been inspired and motivated by the children and families who rely on Tŷ Hafan’s services and draw strength from the wonderful hospice and community teams who care for them so compassionately, as well as from my amazing colleagues and our wonderful volunteers who work tirelessly across the charity to ensure we can make families’ unimaginably difficult lives a little easier”.

“I will be forever grateful to our generous donors and supporters. We are not part of the NHS and only receive 12% of the money we need to provide our care services from the Welsh Government. This means we rely almost exclusively on the generosity of our donors and supporters to fund our children’s palliative care services which we provide at the hospice in Sully and in homes and communities across six of the seven health boards in Wales. I hope that in future years, the Welsh Government will redress this so that Wales is no longer at the bottom of the league table of UK nations when it comes to caring for some of our most vulnerable people in our society.”

Tŷ Hafan’s Board of Trustees have already started a process to recruit Maria’s successor.