ON International Women’s Day (March 8) Tŷ Hafan, the charity which provides specialist palliative care services for children and young people in Wales, is delighted to announce two new appointments to its executive team. 

Earlier this month it was announced that Maria Timon Samra, who took over as Interim CEO of the charity in May 2020 during the first national lockdown relating to the pandemic, has been appointed CEO on a permanent basis. 

Educated in Ireland, Maria brings extensive international experience gained across a range of industries.  Her previous roles in Wales include Interim CIO/Head of BIS at Welsh Water, Transformation Director at Barclaycard and Managing Director at KPMG. She takes the helm at a time when Tŷ Hafan is facing both unprecedented demand for its services, and one of the most challenging financial and operational periods in its history. 

Maria Timon Samra

Martin Davies, Chairman of the Board at Tŷ Hafan, said: “Maria Timon Samra joined Tŷ Hafan as interim Chief Executive last May. During her tenure she has led the organisation through an unprecedented period of challenge precipitated by the pandemic. The board has invited Maria to become our Chief Executive on a substantive basis, and I’m very pleased to announce that she has accepted our invitation.” 

Maria quote: “Given my long voluntary association with this special charity, I feel humbled that the Board of Tŷ Hafan has entrusted the Chief Executive role to me.  It is a genuine privilege to lead the fantastic team here and to see first-hand the difference they make to children with life limiting conditions, and their families, across Wales. 

“Tŷ Hafan has faced, and is continuing to face, immense financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, not in the least because of the cessation of all in-person fundraising events and the closure (for the third time) of our 19 shops due to the lockdown. This leaves us with a predicted income shortfall of approximately £2m for the coming year. 

“Tŷ Hafan’s inspirational care team has also had to adapt the way they deliver services, working incredibly hard to keep our hospice in Sully open for crisis stays and end-of-life care, and delivering care and support virtually to the hundreds of children and their families whom we support in their communities throughout Wales. 

“It has been an enormous privilege for me to work with this team for the past 10 months as interim CEO, and I am very excited to continue to work with them on a permanent basis.  I am committed to ensuring we are able to deliver the highest quality care and support to those who need our services throughout Wales, and excited to build on the proud heritage of Tŷ Hafan. I am confident that with the continued generous support of the people of Wales, we will build back better after the pandemic.” 

Maria, who was voluntary Chair and Trustee of Tŷ Hafan from February 2013 to December 2016, is joined in the hospice’s executive leadership team by Phae Jones, whom Maria recently appointed Tŷ Hafan’s Director of Income Generation. 

Phae, who initially joined Tŷ Hafan in July 2020 in a Legacy Project role before being appointed Interim Director of Income Generation in October 2020, brings more than 15 years of experience of fundraising within the charity sector as well as six years in commercial business development. 

Phae’s previous roles in charity fundraising and commercial business development include Head of Fundraising for the Wye and Usk Foundation and senior roles with Worldwide Cancer Research and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. An alumni of the University of South Wales, Phae also led a critical incident team at the epicentre of the London bombings in 2005. Since her appointment as (Interim) Director of Income Generation, Phae has been responsible for spearheading Tŷ Hafan’s ‘fit for the future’ campaign to raise £1m to refurbish the 22-year-old hospice at Sully, near Cardiff. 

“Since joining us on July 1st last year Phae has had a great impact, supporting us to rebuild and transform our Income Generation capability. A true professional and team player, Phae is collaborating to ensure that Tŷ Hafan’s fundraising and philanthropic activities are supporter-led and data driven, and our income generation colleagues have the training and support they need,” said CEO Maria Timon Samra. 

“Tŷ Hafan is very fortunate to have secured the benefit of Phae’s extensive experience and expertise, and her positive, caring, collaborative, ‘can-do’ approach.” 

“I feel so privileged to be leading Tŷ Hafan’s Income Generation Team. Tŷ Hafan is all about Wales and it’s about harnessing that passion,” said Phae.  

“Our ‘fit for the future’ refurbishment appeal to upgrade our hospice is probably Tŷ Hafan’s biggest single fundraising appeal since it was founded 22 years ago. 

“If you’d said to me, at the beginning of 2020, let’s run an appeal for £1m for capital spend, in the midst of a pandemic, I’d have said ‘No thank you very much indeed!” But we have so very nearly done it, with just around £50,000 left to go. For us to have been able to do this is a testament to the incredible generosity of the people of Wales, and to the hard work of Tŷ Hafan’s