“On any one working day a Team Tŷ Hafan nurse will work a 12 and a half hour shift,” says Director of Care, Deb Ho.
“Our colleagues in Fundraising are encouraging our supporters across Wales to do a Marathon in May for us. So we decided we’d do our own Marathon in May relay around the hospice, walking continuously for 12 and a half hours.”
With the first walker starting at 7am, our amazing teams from across Tŷ Hafan walked in a continuous and socially-distanced relay around the hospice perimeter path until 7:30pm yesterday evening.
“The initial aim was to cover the distance of one marathon: 26.2 miles. But in the event, Team Tŷ Hafan walked 412 laps of our gardens over 12 and a half hours. This amounts to an amazing 206 miles or a whopping 7.8 marathons,” said Deb, who came up with the idea of the Marathon in May relay.
“We did this to promote the great opportunity that Marathon in May offers for people of all ages and abilities to get out and about and challenge themselves – and to raise some money in the process.
“We set ourselves the target of raising £6,538, which might seem a funny figure, but in fact that is the total cost of covering 12 and half hour period of nursing care at Tŷ Hafan.
“So far we’re on £1,645 which is brilliant. But we’d love to hit our target and every penny we receive in donations will be gratefully received.”
While the funds raised will go towards the care and support of children and families who turn to us for help and support there have also been other benefits to doing this event too, including a real sense of the feelgood factor. Here’s what some of our Team Tŷ Hafan Marathon in May walkers told us:
“It was important to me to take part in this event raising vital funds to continue the awesome work that takes place at Tŷ Hafan. To see people come together, metaphorically of course, with the same aim has been truly special after a really difficult 14 months!!” - Nicole Crimmings, Family Support Lead
“It was so nice being back in the hospice enjoying the beautiful grounds, seeing staff and children again, all whilst raising money and awareness of a truly amazing charity. Once again the staff all came together and you got a real sense of how amazing team Tŷ Hafan is!” - Kirsty Gibbs, Family Support Practitioner
“It's been such a lovely way to break up the day, safely catch up with people we haven't seen for a while and all whilst raising money to support the hospice. It's a privilege to work here and a pleasure to support!” - Complementary Therapy Practitioner Abi Tong, who did the walk while dressed as a banana
“It was a lovely social hour, catching up with colleagues and children, some of whom we haven't seen for over a year. We know how hard a twelve and a half hour shift must be for the nurses especially over the last twelve months so it's nice to give something back.” - Family Support Worker Lou Stout, who did the walk while dressed as a bumblebee
“It was lovely to be part of a team effort. The children's reaction to the unicorn costume was my favourite bit!” - Kelly-Jo Milford, Sibling Support Worker and Team Tŷ Hafan Marathon in May’s very own unicorn
Deb added: “We hope that as many people as possible will be inspired by what we have done and take this opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and gentle exercise and help us while they help themselves by getting fitter as we emerge from lockdown.
“And it is no coincidence that we chose to do this as a walking marathon because next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of which is connect with nature.
“Walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. It’s simple – you can do it in your own time and you don’t need any expensive equipment to do it and when you walk outside as opposed to on a treadmill in a gym or at home, walking inevitably brings you into contact with nature.
“At Tŷ Hafan we are very lucky to have such beautiful surroundings – a stunning location on the shores of the Bristol Channel amidst our own beautiful gardens where, every day, our aim is to give the very best care and support possible to children with a life-limiting condition and their families from across Wales.”