AS part of its refurbishment appeal ‘help us over the finishing line’ which launched this week, Tŷ Hafan, Wales’ leading children’s charity is asking for support from the public to give children with life-limiting conditions and their families a hospice fit for the future.
In 2020 the charity embarked on an ambitious, but essential, refurbishment project. Through the generous support of the Welsh public and its loyal supporter base, over 80% of the £1 million fundraising target has been raised and a large part of the hospice has been refurbished, including the childrens’ bedrooms, family living room and new therapy room.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all fundraising events and Tŷ Hafan still needs to raise another £170,000 to make those last essential additions that will enable the hospice to help children and families in Wales for many years to come. Despite Covid-19 and the refurbishment project, the hospice has remained open throughout the last year, helping those families where a need for respite care has been identified.
Tŷ Hafan’s Head of Hospice Services, Beth Morgan, explains:
“Tŷ Hafan opened in 1999 and was the first children’s hospice in Wales. Over 20 years later, having been used 365 days a year and providing care to over 1000 children, the building desperately needed refurbishment.
“Our services are essential to improving the quality of life of both the children, and their families and we want to provide the families who use the hospice with the best possible environment to receive the highest standard of care.”
Beth added, “This refurbishment is not just a ‘nice to have’ for Tŷ Hafan; it is vital to our service delivery. Children with life-limiting conditions are living longer because of the expert care available to them, so we need to keep pace with the changing world of healthcare and refurbish our equipment, facilities, and overall environment to meet increasingly complex demands.”
As well as providing a more bright and cheerful ‘beach hut’ theme throughout, particular attention was paid to making essential clinical adaptations to the hospice. Key features include infection-control flooring, optimising space from top to bottom, providing more purpose built space for nurses to prepare medicine for children, and ensuring facilities are as accessible as possible for children with various complex conditions.
Families cared for by Tŷ Hafan were consulted in the planning stages and given the opportunity to feed into the refurbishment plans. Some of their views included giving the communal lounge and living areas a greater sense of privacy while retaining the approachable and welcoming aesthetic, as well as creating a more homely and comfortable feel in the family bedrooms, all of which were incorporated into the plans.
Beth explains, “We want our families to feel at home at Tŷ Hafan so they can make the most of the time they have together, knowing that their children are being well cared for by our wonderful Care team.”
Frances and her daughter, Anja, who now live in Pembroke, were offered a crisis stay at Tŷ Hafan in September. “The refurbishments so far are amazing”, said Frances. “The care wing was almost unrecognisable. It’s clear that clinical improvements have been made but they managed to preserve the friendly and home-from-home feel that Anja and I love so much about Tŷ Hafan.”
The money needed for the refurbishment is in addition to the more than £4.5 million the charity requires annually to continue providing its life-changing, free care to children with life-limiting conditions and their families, both at the hospice and out in the community. In 2020, the leading children’s charity announced it is facing an income loss in excess of £2 million, due to the fundraising challenges caused by Covid-19. The charity’s shops, which typically provide almost a quarter of its’ income, are now closed for the third time since the Coronavirus first struck, and the events schedule for 2021 was also impacted, so these vital sources of funds are, once again, cut-off.
“We couldn’t have raised the money we needed without the generous support of the Welsh public and we are extremely grateful.” Beth added “Reluctantly, we need to appeal for support once more in this final push to complete the refurbishment project, as all of our usual avenues of fundraising are cut off due to Covid.”
For more information about Tŷ Hafan’s appeal, to make a donation and to watch the full video showing the progress of the refurbishment project, voiced by Director of Care Deborah Ho, visit: www.tyhafan.org/fitforfuture