I first stepped through the doors of Tŷ Hafan seven years ago with the same feelings of trepidation that I’m sure all Tŷ Hafan parents have on their first visit. The word “hospice” has its own connotations and I had all sorts of questions running through my mind. What exactly is a children’s hospice? What is it going to be like?
But, again like most parents, from the moment my family walked through those doors with Poppy, we knew that this was a life-changing place. The reality for families of a child with a life-limiting condition is difficult to put into words, but it is probably true to say that the weight of being a carer to your child and, in many cases, being a parent to other children is too much to do without external support.
The sense of that weight being lifted and the immediate recognition that the people here understand what we have been going through and know what support we need, often without us asking, is a huge relief.
Around 10 months ago, I was enjoying some of this relaxation time on a short-break visit to the hospice. I was sat in my pyjamas, eating breakfast with my wife and watching Poppy playing with one of the nurses, when I overheard a conversation about a position opening up in the head office.
I never imagined when I first walked through those doors that I would end up here as Chief Executive, but being able to come to work each day, knowing that what we do directly benefits the families, like mine, who have come to rely on Tŷ Hafan, makes me incredibly proud.
So, from all of us here, thank you so much for being there for all of the many families, like my own, that rely on the comfort care and support that Tŷ Hafan provides.