Ty Hafan

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a week of good omens

Read our CEO's first ever blog post all about what went on at Tŷ Hafan last week!

We launched Children’s Hospice Week with the powerful story by Alun Williams’ family, which addresses openly the emotion of losing your child and the unique role Tŷ Hafan plays in supporting parents, siblings and grandparents.

We attended the all party palliative care group in parliament in collaboration with Tŷ Gobaith Hope House and met Welsh MPs from across Wales to garner support in their communities, with a fantastic response.

The birdsong programme ‘Names in the Sky’ on BBC Radio 4 was broadcast on Tuesday to celebrate Children’s Hospice Week.

The CEOs of Together For Short Lives and Tŷ Gobaith Hope house joined our Trustees on Wednesday to discuss collaboration to improve funding and service across Wales.

On Thursday we celebrated Children’s Hospice Week with a very noisy and fun party in the hospice. ‘Great British Bake Off’ contestant, Jon Jenkins, made biscuits with Dave and Jayne, our hospice kitchen staff, and the children.

Paul Davies AM also joined us and was blown away by the hospice and our staff. We talked about the importance of support for Tŷ Hafan and how he could help us as well as the challenges for families in Pembrokeshire.

Friday we were joined by Toby Porter, CEO, from Acorns children’s hospice to discuss collaboration and funding challenges in the children’s hospice sector.

The week finished on a fabulous high when we held a ‘thank you’ tea party in our Cwmbran shop to recognise our volunteers and present flowers to Val, Judith and Anne who, between them, have volunteered for 62 years!! It was wonderful and tearful as we shared stories and celebrated the difference we make to children and their families.

We really saw the power of collaboration in the fundraising teams this week. One of our corporate fundraising managers, Kelly Dibble, contacted me to say, “Rob, please can you thank Ian in lottery for introducing two new corporate supporters.” Our support care manager, James Davies-Hale, also asked me to thank Penny Collins for introducing a fundraiser for next year’s London Marathon. These are just two examples in a week of staff thanking colleagues from other teams for the difference they have made to their week.

The week ended on a huge high as we celebrated proceeds from a Good Omens TV show clapperboard that was signed by the whole cast of the show. It was donated to us by one our supporters, and our community fundraiser, Lauren Sadler, had the brilliant idea of selling it on our Tŷ Hafan eBay.

Head of Retail, Sue Hayes, and Dani Harries in marketing got together, listed it on eBay with a £75 reserve, then took to social media to encourage people to bid and engaged with celebrities for their support. With retweets from stars of the show like Michael Sheen and the author of Good Omens itself, Neil Gaiman, the final bid was £3,400! There was a real buzz in the office as bids increased over the week and it showed how great supporter stewardship and collaboration pays dividends and is fun!

I would also like to thank all the staff and volunteers involved in the GE Aviation Wales Welsh3Peaks Challenge. It was another successful year with 55 teams fundraising for Tŷ Hafan. We look forward to celebrating GE Aviation’s 100 year anniversary by speaking to all the staff about why Tŷ Hafan is so important and how they have helped over the past 20 years.

This week we’re planning to host a 13 hour “thankathon” as we thank all staff over all 3 shifts.

In the week ahead we will be remembering the children cared for at Tŷ Hafan with our annual memorial event on Saturday. And on Sunday we will be holding our annual event at the hospice to recognise and thank our volunteers.

The Birdsong project was Radio 4’s ‘pick of the week’ on Sunday. The programme has generated an incredible response from across the UK. Staff at Great Ormond Street were also in contact to say “WOW”.

Please tune in tonight at 9.00pm for 28 minutes of Tŷ Hafan magic!



Written by Rob Jones (CEO)