We are thrilled that two of our fundraisers have won special awards after being named among the Welsh heroes of 2020.
Retired farmer Rhythwyn Evans and college worker Gwyndaf Lewis were recognised because of their phenomenal fundraising for the local NHS.
The pair were among 10 groups and individuals honoured in a special programme celebrating the heroes of 2020.
Dathlu Dewrder: Arwyr 2020 (Celebrating Bravery: Heroes of 2020) on S4C featured presenters Elin Fflur and Owain Tudur Jones, who was joined by several famous faces for the celebrations including Michael Sheen, Cerys Matthews, Ben Cabango and Geraint Thomas.
Rhythwyn Evans from Silian, near Lampeter, was inspired by Captain Tom Moore and he celebrated his 91st birthday by walking around his house 91 times, raising a massive £50,000 for the Hywel Dda NHS.
Gwyndaf Lewis, of Efailwen, who sadly lost his mother Undeg to COVID-19 earlier this year, decided to run 50km in a day to raise money for the intensive care unit at Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen, where his mother was cared for. The 25-year-old raised a fantastic £37,000 after completing his run in five hours and 45 minutes.
When grandfather-of-eight Rhythwyn embarked on his challenge back in April, he set himself the modest fundraising target of £500!
But his story captured the heart of communities, locally and as far afield as America and New Zealand, and the donations just came flooding in.
What a difference a year makes. In 2019, Rhythwyn had an unforgettable birthday. For his 90th he had over 100 visitors, as family, neighbours and friends came along to celebrate his special day with an afternoon tea. In 2020 he was in isolation but wanted to mark the day by giving something back and he certainly did that!
For Gwyndaf, the fundraising challenge was a way to honour his mum, Undeg, who sadly passed away in April, at the age of 59.
Undeg was well known in the locality. She worked in a shop and was clerk of the community council, as well as being secretary of the local paper Y Cardi Bach.
For his challenge, Gwyndaf ran 32 times round nearby Feidr Sion and was cheered on by his dad Tudur, who cycled half the distance with him; his brother Rhodri, who also did the 50km, part running and part cycling; and his sister Nia.
Both Rhythwyn and Gwyndaf said they were thrilled to have raised such large amounts of money for the local NHS, as a thank you for the fantastic work that staff do, caring for our local communities.
The heroes were presented with a special award made by the blacksmith Ann Catrin.
We would like to say well done and thank you to Rhythwyn and Gwyndaf. We are thrilled for them and so grateful for everything they have done.
We have been bowled over by the support we have received from hundreds of fundraisers, who have made a real difference to the lives of our NHS patients and staff in the Hywel Dda area of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.