THE Chief Executive of Ty Hafan is set to stand down after eight "wonderful" years at the helm.

Ray Hurcombe will leave the charity in the autumn this year, with the search to identify a successor to commence immediately.

He said that it had been an "honour and a privilege" to serve the children and their families and that he would leave with "special experiences and memories of exceptional children and fantastically supportive family circles"

Mervyn Ham, Chairman of Ty Hafan, paid tribute to Mr Hurcombe for the work he has carried out for the charity that cares for children with life limited illnesses.

“Ray’s extraordinary professionalism and leadership has contributed a vital chapter to the history of Ty Hafan," he said.

"His eight years as chief executive officer have guided the evolution of Ty Hafan and laid the foundation for the charity’s further development."

He added: “Ray has made countless contributions to Ty Hafan’s provision of palliative care to children with life-limiting conditions from across Wales, increasing the number in care from 141 in 2006 to today’s 254, significantly developing the care services provided, extending care from the hospice into the family home and the provision of support to the extended family.

"He has ensured new channels of sustainable funding to meet ever more complex needs and has established research disciplines and the academic, government and public sector partnerships that will enable the charity to anticipate and respond to future needs. He has attracted and inspired a first class team of professionals and shall be sorely missed."

Mr Hurcombe submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors on March 14 but had given some notice of his intentions earlier this year.

He will continue to lead the company through the period of transition and is already working to prepare an orderly handover and a comprehensive briefing of his successor to help maintain the charity’s momentum.

“I’ve always maintained that those involved with Ty Hafan are simply passing through an organisation that will outlive us all and that we should give all we are able to during our own relatively brief journey,” said Mr Hurcombe.

“I joined Ty Hafan in 2006 and, after eight wonderful years, the time is right for someone else to take the reins and lead a first class team to take the charity forward into its next phase, as I did when I joined.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the children and their families and I leave with special experiences and memories of exceptional children and fantastically supportive family circles. My abiding memory will be of those many special children, some of whom are not with us as I leave,” he added.

“I doubt whether I will find another role like T? Hafan but look forward to the next challenge, whatever that will be."