Generous Tŷ Hafan supporters across Wales and beyond have helped the children’s hospice charity to raise in excess of £500,000 in just 60 hours.
The original target of Tŷ Hafan’s “When Your World Stops. We’re There” appeal was to raise £350,000. However this was achieved by 3.15pm yesterday afternoon and as donations continued to flow in during the final seven hours the final total raised at 10pm last night (Tuesday 28 Nov) was £523,847.
Sara Morris, mum of twins Alfi and Besi, whose story was at the heart of this appeal, said: “Eight years ago we made a promise to a very special boy that every decision we make in life would make him proud.
“When we were approached by Tŷ Hafan a few months ago and asked to be this year’s Tŷ Hafan family it wasn’t an easy decision to make. For many it’s been eight long years since Alfi passed but for us it feels like only yesterday. Although we have come a long way the scars and pain will never go away for our family. Losing a child is a pain that is indescribable.
“We took on this challenge because Tŷ Hafan is our lifeline and we wanted to give back to try and support as many families who are in the same position as us.”
Sara, husband Jason and Besi, 10, of Ammanford, starred in Tŷ Hafan’s appeal video, telling the story of how Tŷ Hafan supported them when Alfi was diagnosed with Neonatal Marfan Syndrome, through his death on March 1, 2015, aged just 22 months old, support which continues to this day.
“The last few weeks have been a challenge,” says Sara. “We’ve had laughter alongside many tears. We’ve completely taken ourselves out of our comfort zone and pushed through many challenges.
“Besi-Jane has been a proud sister and we are in awe of her strength and achievements.
“The outcome has been phenomenal to say we’ve reached over half a million for Tŷ Hafan is absolutely incredible!
And this is all down to our amazing family, friends, community, businesses and schools all over Wales. We will be forever grateful and I’m sure Alfs is the brightest star in the sky after last night.”
John Lowes, Head of Fundraising for Tŷ Hafan, said: “We’ve been blown away by the support that we have had across Wales and beyond. People donating, sharing, helping us raise awareness of our appeal, it has all been fantastic.
“We cannot thank everyone enough. We know that times are still really tough for many people right now but the Welsh public have been there for us again.
“It’s also been a huge privilege for us all to work so closely with the amazing Morris family from Ammanford who so bravely shared their story for us. Sara, Jason and Besi plus our whole team have worked really hard to do Alfi justice so that his legacy lives on.
“And for anyone who has missed the match-giving appeal but would still like to donate, don’t worry. Your donation will still have a huge impact. Any donation you give to Tŷ Hafan at any point from now on will help seriously ill children in Wales.”
The appeal was backed by Tŷ Hafan Ambassadors Leigh Halfpenny and Michael Sheen who both shared the family’s story on their social media feeds. Other Tŷ Hafan celebrity supporters who also shared this campaign with their followers on social media include rugby referee and farmer Nigel Owens, chef Stephen Terry, actors Matthew Rhys and Huw Davies, Dragons scrum half Rhodri Williams, and, former Welsh rugby international and Ospreys star Shane Williams.
Tŷ Hafan is currently providing vital care and support for 352 children with life-shortening conditions and their families both in its hospice in Sully and in homes and communities across South, Mid and West Wales.
It costs £5.6 million a year for Tŷ Hafan to provide its current levels of care and support and a report issued earlier this year showed that demand is rocketing for children’s palliative care in Wales with 1 in every 172 children born in the country needing the services provided by Tŷ Hafan and Tŷ Gobaith at some point in their lives.
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