THE parents of a 16-month-old girl who died in 2010, have visited Sully-based Ty Hafan children’s hospice, to donate gifts.

Vikki and Alun Williams, who established the ‘Elis Rose Legacy Fund’ in memory of their daughter, distributed gifts to families and staff following an 18-month fundraising journey.

The Vale-based couple spoke about their experience of bereavement and as fundraisers, having raised £11,000 to help families facing similar situations at Tŷ Hafan.

They raised enough money to refurbish the hospice’s complementary therapy room and presented the charity with a ‘CuddleBlanket’, a special piece of equipment that keeps the child’s temperature low to allow families to spend as much time as possible with their child after death; to say goodbye in their own time.

They also gifted seventy ‘Heart In Their Hand’ keepsakes — tiny silver hearts that can be placed in the child’s hand or blanket when saying goodbye, while the parents keep the accompanying keyring as a reminder of the connection shared.

Mr Williams said: “We wanted to give something back to Tŷ Hafan that will help other families at a very sad time. Being given the option of using a ‘CuddleBlanket’ so that families have the chance to say goodbye to their child how they want to and have as much time as they need is an incredible gift and something we never got to do.”

Mrs Williams said: “Every time we come into Tŷ Hafan it’s amazing — the staff at the hospice have provided so much support for us as a family.

“Our three children have grown up here too and have had the pleasure of meeting other children in similar situations which has helped them enormously.

“We can’t thank our friends, family and the community enough for their dedication in helping us raise the money to comfort bereaved families and to keep Elis’ memory alive.

“It would’ve been Elis’ 10th birthday last October so we wanted to do something special.”

She added: “We are incredibly grateful to the local community and businesses that took part in our fundraising challenges.

“We’re looking to continue fundraising for Tŷ Hafan to set new goals and help more bereaved families in any way we can.”

Head of community service and partnerships at Tŷ Hafan, Tracy Jones said:

“When a parent loses a child, those final moments are more precious than anything.

“Unfortunately, the nature of the children’s conditions cared for at the hospice often means that they die without any warning signs, and the parents are rarely prepared to say goodbye.

“Providing families at the hospice and at their homes with the opportunity to spend just a few more moments with their child is priceless.

“Continuing bonds is an essential part of the bereavement process, so the idea that the families can hand the heart to their child and have that everlasting memory is so significant.

“We can’t begin to think what difference these items will make to families and how treasured they will be, and it’s beautiful that they’re being used in memory of Elis.”