In 2017 a pack of 43 giant Snowdog sculptures and 57 Snowpups were unleashed onto the streets, open spaces and iconic locations across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The first event of its kind in the region, the 10-week public art trail brought together locals and visitors from all generations and backgrounds for ‘walkies’, discovering their favourite Snowdogs and celebrating the campaign’s creativity, while raising much-needed funds for Tŷ Hafan, the children’s hospice in Wales.
As CEO of the charity, Tŷ Hafan is of course a cause close to my heart. But seeing how many businesses, schools and the wider community have engaged in the Snowdogs: Tails in Wales to raise money for the hospice has been a particularly touching experience for myself and my family.
My own daughter Poppy was referred to the hospice in 2011. Poppy has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease. She has had a sketchy past, health-wise. There have been times when it has been very touch-and-go and we feel very lucky that she has been with us for the last 12 years. She is quite a character with a great sense of humour.
Like a lot of the children that benefit from Tŷ Hafan, we have to the make the most of the time we have together. Tŷ Hafan allows Poppy to be a normal 12-year-old. She loves the banter and is made to feel like one of the girls. She’s not treated like a disabled person, she is treated like a normal girl with a great sense of humour. It’s also the only place we can go as a family to have a complete rest. There is no alternative for families like ours. Without Tŷ Hafan we wouldn’t have a caring, supportive service for children with life-limiting conditions.
So, to every single person who has supported this campaign – whether you sponsored, designed, unlocked tweeted, texted, purchased or took a selfie with a Snowdog – thank you. I can tell you from my own personal experience that the money raised from the trail will help the wonderful staff at this magical place change the lives of hundreds of families like mine throughout Wales and the lives of children like my daughter Poppy.
(CEO and proud dad)