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Tŷ Hafan thanks supporters as £1m refurbishment fundraiser nears target

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“THANKS to you, our incredible supporters across Wales and beyond, we’ve almost done it. We’re so nearly there – now we need just one last push.” 

That’s the message from Tŷ Hafan CEO Maria Timon Samra, as the appeal by the charity to raise £1m to refurbish its hospice in Sully enters its final few weeks. 

“In January 2020, just before the world – and our charity – was blighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Tŷ Hafan launched a much needed £1m project to upgrade our children’s hospice facility in Wales,” said Maria, who took over as Interim CEO at Tŷ Hafan in May 2020. 

“Against all the odds, and thanks to the generosity of our loyal local, national and international supporters, we are now in the final stages of this refurbishment.  

“One month ago we updated our stakeholders on Tŷ Hafan’s ‘fit for the future’ fundraising appeal and at that point we were £170k short of our £1m target. 

“Today, with just a few weeks to go until our appeal closes, we have nearly reached our £1m target. 

“So we’re asking our supporters to show their love for Tŷ Hafan once more and to give whatever they can afford to help us over the finish line.  Every penny will make a huge difference to the unfairly difficult lives of the children and families whom we support with much needed respite, crisis and end-of-life care.” 

Tŷ Hafan opened its doors 22 years ago and has been a lifeline for children with life-limiting conditions and their families ever since. 

After more than two decades of being used 365 days a year and providing essential around-the-clock care to more than 1,000 children and families in Wales, including 24 in Monmouthshire, Tŷ Hafan’s hospice in Sully, South Wales, needed essential refurbishment to ensure that it can continue to help families for the next 20 years and beyond.  

As well as providing a more bright and cheerful ‘beach hut’ theme throughout which fits with our peaceful location on the Bristol Channel, Tŷ Hafan’s £1m fit for the future refurbishment programme includes essential clinical adaptations to the hospice, which has remained open and operational for crisis and end of life care throughout the pandemic. 

Key features include infection-control flooring, optimising space from top to bottom, providing more purpose-built space for nurses to prepare medicines for children, and ensuring facilities are as accessible as possible for children with various complex conditions. 

Mum Becca and Harley, seven, from Llanelli, benefited from their first stay at Tŷ Hafan last summer during the early months of the pandemic. 

Harley has Adenylosuccinase deficiency (ADSL), a rare, complex and progressive disorder which also means that Harley is at high risk of sudden death through epilepsy. 

Becca said: “I never thought Tŷ Hafan was right for us because I thought it was for end of life only and that wasn’t us. But when we went to the hospice to stay, it gave the doctors a chance to see what was going on. 

“We have too much to pack to go away for long, so holidays are impossible. Going to Tŷ Hafan is different because they are used to it and it’s normal for them. It makes it easy to fit in there. You can talk to people about things, but to meet other parents in the same position as you is good, as you feel less self-conscious with a Tŷ Hafan group. 

“All the staff were amazing. I wasn’t ready to leave Harley, I’m still not, so I stayed with him the whole time, but I saw other children and was amazed at how the staff were with the kids. I’ve never met such nice people. The one time I left him was to go for a shower for an hour. I’ve never done that before, but I felt able to as I knew he was being looked after.” 

Already hundreds of individuals, groups, businesses and organisations have donated generously to Tŷ Hafan fit for the future appeal, including: 

  • Employees of Circle IT and partners who are taking on the challenge of travelling the distance of the Earth – 40,075km by walking, running, and cycling the cumulative distance within seven weeks 
  • 100 employees of Admiral Group who have pledged to complete one million press ups with a fundraising target of £10,000 
  • Taylor Wimpey who have pledged £12,000 to help fund the creation of a Den which will feature a cinema and games room which will enable peer to peer support 
  • Machen teenagers Ben, Lewis and Ollie who together ran 100km in all winds and weathers throughout January, raising more than £3,000 

“I cannot thank enough everyone who has donated so generously so far, but if you have not already donated, it’s not too late,” continued CEO Maria Timon Samra. 

“There are still a few weeks to go until our ‘fit for the future’ appeal ends and it goes without saying that we really appreciate every single donation we receive, however big or small.  Every donation represents a step closer to us completing this project so we can provide these children, young people and their families with the support they so urgently need.” 

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LEADER: Call for new and innovative project ideas

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THE LEADER programme, which aims to support the regeneration of rural Carmarthenshire, has opened a new call for Expressions of Interest.

LEADER is designed to get local people, businesses and communities involved in delivering sustainable, innovative solutions to address some of the economic, social and environmental challenges facing rural Carmarthenshire. The Local Action Group – Grŵp Cefn Gwlad is managing the LEADER programme in Carmarthenshire.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The programme can provide financial support of up to 80% towards a project’s costs.

The LAG can also support projects that cooperate with other geographical areas via inter-territorial or transnational working.

To request an application pack, please email rdpsirgar@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/business

The deadline for submission of the Expression of Interest is June 30, 2021.

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Have your say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire

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RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to have their say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire.

Carmarthenshire County Council is developing a new 10-year Housing and Regeneration Masterplan and residents are being asked for their views.

Providing quality, affordable homes is a key priority for the council and it is investing millions of pounds in new housing stock; creating much-needed jobs and helping to grow the local economy and regenerate communities.

In 2015, the council became the first in Wales to suspend the Right to Buy to retain its declining housing stock, and built a number of bungalows – the first local authority housing to be built in Wales since the 1980s.

A year later, in 2016, it launched its affordable homes plan to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes in the county by 2021 by building new, buying from the market and converting empty buildings.

Now the council is shaping its plans for the next 10 years which includes building over 900 new council homes and investing nearly £150million across the county by 2029.

It is important that the new homes are of the right type, size and tenure, and in the right places to build strong sustainable communities where people want to live and work.

The Housing and Regeneration Masterplan will also recognise the role of housing development and investment in stimulating the overall economic growth of the county – which is now even more critical as we recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are being encouraged to take part in our online consultation which starts on Monday, June 14.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to be leading the way here in Carmarthenshire to deliver new, affordable, high quality and much-needed homes for local people.

“We have already achieved so much during the last few years, but we must now plan for the next 10 years and we need the views of our residents to help tell us where they think these homes should be developed, who should have them, and what type and size they should be.

“We are committed to making more homes available for those in highest need, and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, with a range of homes to suit specific needs.

“This includes our rural towns and villages, where we must help to make sure that local people are able to afford quality affordable homes and remain in their communities; as well as increasing the residential offer in our town centres, increasing footfall and helping businesses to thrive.

“Aside from providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.”

The council is delivering this commitment in a number of ways, including building more council homes and working with housing association partners to deliver more new build schemes, buying stock that suits our needs, working with developers to ensure a range of affordable homes are built as part of private developments and bringing empty homes back into use. 

It is also actively working with landlords to encourage them to make their properties available at affordable rent levels, including bringing more private sector homes into the management of our in-house social lettings agency.

To take part in the survey please visit the consultation pages on the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/consultations Paper copies are available from one of our customer service Hwbs. The survey closes on July 26.

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Community wardens hit the streets of Tyisha and Glanymor

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has appointed two new community wardens to patrol the Tyisha and Glanymor areas of Llanelli.

The community wardens will support the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and other agencies to provide a visible presence within the area and will have a varied role which will include:

  • Patrolling hot spot areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Tackling vandalism and fly tipping as well as issues relating to communal areas and open spaces/parks
  • Supporting the introduction of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Organising the installation of crime prevention measures
  • Offering targeted support to vulnerable members of the community
  • Encourage wellbeing activities and community engagement with youth projects, schools and clubs including the promotion of volunteering opportunities.

Linda Evans, chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member for housing said: “I am delighted that Tyisha and Glanymor now have community wardens who will work closely with Dyfed Powys Police and other agencies to deliver a multi-agency approach to tackling issues of community concern. In response to community feedback they will prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour issues, reducing crime relating to drug and alcohol misuse and engaging with the community to make positive changes throughout Tyisha and Glanymor.”

Ann Davies, Executive Board Member and vice-chair of the Tyisha Steering Group said: “The work carried out by the community wardens will make a positive difference through helping to reduce fear of crime and incidents of anti-social behaviour as well as improving quality of life for those who live in these communities.”

The introduction of community wardens to the Tyisha area forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

To contact the community wardens or for more information on joining Tyisha and Glanymor’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please e-mail tyisha@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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