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Tŷ Hafan, Wales’ leading children’s charity and hospice, is asking for support from the public to give life-limited children a hospice fit for the future as part of its refurbishment appeal going live this week.

In its 20th year of service, the charity has launched a £1.5 million ‘Fit For Future’ appeal that involves taking on a major refurbishment of its hospice and has unveiled the plans for the renovation project, beginning in the New Year. 

Focusing on making vital clinical adaptations to the hospice building in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, the plans reveal concepts that involve upgrading the ten care bedrooms on-site, eight family bedrooms, living and social areas, plus the installation of a wireless nurse call system and air conditioning in the children’s bedrooms.

CEO and Ty Hafan dad, Rob Jones, with daughter Poppy at the hospice

Tŷ Hafan’s CEO, Rob Jones, explained:

“It was a ground-breaking moment when Tŷ Hafan opened its doors 20 years ago in 1999. It’s unbelievable to think that before then Wales didn’t have a children’s hospice. 

“Two decades later, after being used 365 days a year and providing essential around-the-clock care to over 840 life-limited children and families in Wales, it’s no surprise that the building needs refurbishment.”

As well as being appointed the charity’s CEO in 2017, Rob Jones is a Tŷ Hafan dad and has been visiting the hospice for eight years with his daughter, Poppy, and uses his unique insight and first-hand experience to help steer the charity. 

Poppy Jones, Rob Jones CEO’s daughter. Photograph credit: Christoph Soeder/Ty Hafan

Mr Jones added:

“There have been significant advances in medicine and clinical technology over the last 20 years and we have worked tirelessly to stay on top of these changes, but the needs of the children and their families are becoming ever more complex.

“Life-limited children 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 demands and continue providing the best possible care.”

Phase one of the project is due to commence in January 2020, undertaken by contractors Knox and Wells, and will prioritise refurbishing vital areas, such as the living spaces and bedrooms – creating a therapeutic, purpose-led environment throughout.

Phase two, which will begin later in 2020, will focus on refurbishing the additional areas of the hospice like the ‘transition hub’ for the older service-users approaching graduation age (14-18) and the bathrooms throughout.

Children’s Bedroom

As well as providing a more bright and cheerful ‘beach hut’ theme throughout, architects CAPITA have paid particular attention to making essential clinical adaptations to the hospice. Key features include infection-controlled flooring, providing more space for nurses to prepare medicine for children, optimising space from top to bottom, and ensuring facilities are as accessible as possible for children with various complex conditions.

Families cared for by Tŷ Hafan were also 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, and also creating a more homely and comfortable feel in the family bedrooms, all of which have been incorporated into the plans.

Adult Bedroom

Tŷ Hafan has already had a successful head start in its fundraising journey thanks to charitable trusts, grants and also the charity’s annual ball which, collectively, has taken their current total to just over £500,000, but the appeal requires a further £1million to complete both phases of the refurbishment.

With the hospice relying on charitable donations alone, Tŷ Hafan needed to launch ‘Fit For Future’ publically, which has already garnered the support of Gavin and Stacey star, Ruth Jones, who is a big advocate of the charity.

The appeal will run for six months, over Christmas and into the New Year to help fund the entire refurbishment project. This is in addition to the £4.4 million the charity requires annually to continue providing the life-changing, free care to life-limited children and their families, at the hospice and out in the community.

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Mr Jones concluded:

“The people of Wales came together to build Tŷ Hafan, the first children’s hospice in Wales, back in 1999 and raised £1million without any government funding. We’re asking people in Wales to come together again for Tŷ Hafan, 20 years later.

“Tŷ Hafan still doesn’t receive any direct government funding, so we are still overwhelmingly reliant upon the generosity of our supporters and people across the country. Any donation, no matter how big or small, will be crucial to help us futureproof the hospice and be ready for the next generation of life-limited children and their families in Wales.”

For more information about Tŷ Hafan’s appeal, to make a donation and to watch the full video explaining the refurbishment project featuring CEO Rob Jones, visit: www.tyhafan.org/fitforfuture