THIS week I once again had the pleasure of visiting Ty Hafan children's hospice in Sully.
I was able to see first-hand the continuing development of their services for children and their families. The hospice offers specialist palliative care and provides a much needed support network for the families involved. Although the hospice itself is located in Sully its services are available throughout Wales.
This year the hospice is celebrating its 15th birthday and in that time has helped almost 600 children and their families. As well as looking back on the huge contribution Ty Hafan has made, it will also be a year of change as chief executive Ray Hurcombe steps down. The next chief executive has a tough act to follow.
Ty Hafan is a special place not only because of the care and commitment of its staff to raise funds and provide care. It is a special place because it is true to its mission to be a hospice for children and their families. It is not a hospital ward in a different setting - children can enjoy their time as children as well as receive high quality palliative care.
The hospice offers different therapies for patients including, music, complementary and play and provides pre and post bereavement counselling for families. The hospice recognises the hard work and commitment that goes in to caring for children and young people with a life threatening illness. It currently provides respite care to 170 families throughout Wales, enabling families to have a well-deserved break.
I was excited to see the new hydrotherapy pool as on my last visit it was about to begin construction. I am proud to have the hospice in the constituency and to have supported Ty Hafan over several years.
The hospice of course does not run on fresh air. It currently costs over £3million every year to maintain Ty Hafan's services. Approximately 15 per cent of that total cost is funded by the Welsh Government and the Local Health Boards every year. The rest of Ty Hafan's income is generated by public donations and fundraising and through its lottery and shops. For example the Sully Friends of Ty Hafan group had recently donated £5,000 to the hospice. The money was raised through a series of fundraising events.
The next fundraising event will be the popular annual Midnight Sleep Walk in Cardiff on Friday, May 16. Ty Hafan is asking mums, sisters and aunties to ‘go neon’ for the night and wear neon accessories with their PJs. The six mile midnight walk will start from the Millennium Stadium and the event will include entertainment beforehand and tea and cakes at the finish. To register for the event, please visit www.midnightsleepwalk.co.uk or call 029 2053 2282.