TY Hafan children’s hospice has announced its former Penarth-based chairwoman and trustee, Maria Timon Samra’s appointment as CEO.

She takes over the reins from Rob Jones who served as Tŷ Hafan’s chief executive for the past three years.

She provided stewardship to the charity as a non-executive director for nearly four years from 2013 to 2016 and led Tŷ Hafan’s board of trustees as chairwoman.

She is a long-term champion of and advocate for the charity.

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She said: “I feel very privileged to return to the Tŷ Hafan family, four years on, in this critical role.

“My immediate focus will be tackling the income challenges precipitated by the lockdown and addressing the operational challenges so we can continue to safely meet the needs of care in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Beyond that, I am really looking forward to supporting our staff and our families as we emerge from this crisis and building on the work of my predecessor, Rob, himself a Tŷ Hafan dad, to secure the future and deliver on our mission to deliver expert care to life-limited children and their families.”

She added: “I’ve been so impressed by the resilience and passion displayed by everyone at Tŷ Hafan at this difficult time and how they have adapted to new ways of working as they continue keep the doors open for families in crisis while also developing innovative virtual care programmes.

“I eagerly await the moment I can meet staff, families and supporters in person.”

Following the significant drop in fundraising activity, the closure of all retail shops and a predicted income loss in excess of £2 million this year, Tŷ Hafan launched a covid-19 appeal in March, asking people to help them fund the charity’s care provision through a number of initiatives, including playing their weekly Crackerjackpot lottery.

With many classed as some of the most ‘at risk’ in Wales, children with life-limiting conditions and their families require Tŷ Hafan’s support, in the hospice and at home.

These services cost £4.5 million a year and the charity relies on the public’s generosity to help sustain these services.

Tŷ Hafan’s chairman, Martin Davies, said: “We are under no illusions about the tough times ahead of us in these unprecedented times.

“Even with the very welcome support from our supporters and the Welsh Government, there are still gaps in anticipated income to fill.

“We are delighted to welcome back Maria to Tŷ Hafan, this time as our CEO.

“Maria’s depth of experience in leadership, coupled with her unwavering passion for Tŷ Hafan will be critical in getting us through these stormiest of waters while we continue to provide the high class care our children and families so desperately need.”

He added: “We are incredibly grateful to Rob Jones who has given us three years of excellent service and leadership as our CEO and we wish him all the best as he moves on.

“Rob also brought a unique insight to the charity and he can be justifiably proud of his achievements.”

To support Tŷ Hafan, visit www.tyhafan.org/appeal to make an online donation and to play the weekly Crackerjackpot lottery, visit www.lottery.tyhafan.org