As we are now in the last month of 2020, it seems fitting to look back on a year that has been like no other.
But, despite the challenges, one thing that has been shining through for us in the Hywel Dda Health Charities team is the phenomenal support from the public for our NHS staff and patients.
The charity has been overwhelmed by the generosity of our local communities and the eagerness of our public to fundraise for the NHS in new and innovative ways.
There have been amazing fundraising ideas from children as young as four, up to a 91-year-old who did 91 laps of his garden to raise cash and say thank you.
Several of those taking part in challenges have done so because family and friends are working on the front line or in key services. Others just wanted to support the NHS and say thank you for all the hard work.
Retired farmer Rhythwyn Evans did 91 laps of the garden on his 91st birthday, raising a staggering £51,300 in the process. Rhythwyn was so inspired by the efforts of Army veteran Sir Tom Moore that he wanted to do his bit.
College worker Gwyndaf Lewis decided to raise money in memory of his mum, Undeg, who sadly died of coronavirus at the age of 59. The 25-year-old ran 50km in a day and raised a massive £37,000 for the intensive care staff who cared for his mam.
Summary of other great fundraising events:
Sportspeople have run, walked and cycled tens of thousands of miles
One woman did 20,000 of bounces on her trampoline, the equivalent of the distance to her cancelled 40th wedding anniversary holiday to Portugal.
One of our own hospital radiographers did 100 miles in a day on his drive on a cycle in memory of his mum. And there were 10,000 press-ups in seven days by one fundraiser.
Several charity videos were released featuring clips from choir members singing at home, plus live music sessions.
There were lots of virtual quizzes and scarecrow festivals, with the scarecrows dressed as NHS staff and other key workers.
So many children wanted to be involved – including a six-year-old who cycled 60 miles, a six-year-old running a mile a day, a six-year-old doing 100 laps of her garden every day, a seven-year-old roller-skating seven miles in seven days and an eight-year-old doing a mile a day for a month.
Lots of challenges were completed on the stairs at home – including an eight-year-old climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest, a 14-year-old consultant’s daughter climbing the equivalent of Snowdon, and a sports therapist scaling the Three Peaks.
From the young to the not-so-young – a 73-year-old ran 1,000 miles over three months, 10 miles a day, every day.
There have been lots of head shaves and beard shaves.
And fitness instructors have been running online exercise classes to keep people fit and raise money – from Zumba and aerobics to bootcamps; ballroom jive; legs, bums and tums; and HIIT.
Saying thank you
Hywel Dda Health Charities, the health board and all the staff are so grateful to everyone who has fundraised and donated to make a difference to the lives of patients and staff in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
It has made such a difference to staff, who have been working so hard during the pandemic, to know that they have so much support in our local communities.
Plans for 2021
The charity is looking forward to next year and continuing to direct the funds raised to the people and places that need them most – to make it better for patients, their families and staff.