Cardiff looks set to enjoy an Olympic fundraising year in 2012 (see what I did there?) with huge events announced by Tŷ Hafan, the family hospice for young lives
, taking place throughout the year, as well as exciting plans for community fundraising events organised by Ty Hafan supporters, which hope to raise vital funds for the Welsh charity.
It costs about £3 million every year to provide the care and support that TŷHafan offers families right across Wales, and it isn’t part of the health service - last year they received just 13% statutory funding. The vast majority of funding that’s needed in order to continue caring for, and supporting life-limited children (those with conditions which mean they are not expected to live beyond 19) and their families, free of charge, comes from donations and fundraising.
This is where you come in. The events organised by TŷHafan are great way for the community to get involved and support the charity and there really is an event for everyone. Popular annual events include May’s Midnight Seep Walk
, where hundreds of ladies take to the streets of Cardiff at midnight in their finest pyjamas. Last year, it was flashing bunny ears
, this year, woman will be sporting flashing tiaras on the 6 mile route around the city in the early hours of the morning, all in support of TŷHafan’s super Mums; mums of children born with conditions which often require round-the-clock care and result in many a sleepless night.
For the more adventurous of you, there’s the ever popular Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge
in June which will see you scaling the three tallest mountains in North, Mid and South Wales, and the Taff Trail Cycle Challenge
in September; a 55 mile bike ride along the historic trail, taking in some of the most beautiful views Wales has to offer from Brecon to Cardiff Bay. Both events have been running for a number of years and never fail to fill up, with people eager to really push themselves that little bit further, all in the name of charity.
If you fancy something a little sooner though (is March soon enough?), then new to TŷHafan’s events calendar this year is Do You Dare
, a multi-activity physical challenge which includes a 200m zip slide, mountain biking, an assault course and a canoe relay...not for the faint-hearted, but an excuse to get very wet, very muddy and have a laugh with friends or work colleagues whilst raising money for an extraordinary charity which provides services for families, children and young people right across Wales and here in Cardiff, in your very community - and who knows, you may just win!
The fundraising events don’t stop there though. Cardiff is very fortunate to have a community which supports charity events and individual efforts to make a difference. I’ve been lucky enough to experience this support recently when I foolishly decided to plunge into the sea at Barry Island
on both Boxing Day and New Year's Day, in the hope to raise £500 for Tŷ Hafan. I was not disappointed; I was supported wholeheartedly (I would like to think it wasn’t just because it would be rather funny to see me enter a VERY cold sea in winter), not just by friends and family but from people all across Cardiff, mostly thanks to the wonder of Twitter.
It’s incredible how a simple platform like Twitter can really boost fundraising efforts; last week, for example, saw a flurry of excitement on Twitter with the announcement of ‘The Great Cardiff Bake Off
’ - inspired by the recent success of the BBC programme, Jade Jones, director of Forever Vintage
, is embarking on the enormous task to stage Cardiff’s very own charity Bake Off in aid of TŷHafan.
Jade said: “The reason I picked Tŷ Hafan is because I've always thought the work they do is amazing and since having two children myself, I have such admiration for the invaluable support they offer, and their dedication to providing quality of life to life-limited children and their families.
“I was really surprised to find that Tŷ Hafan is not part of the health service so doesn’t receive much statutory funding, so I think it should be up to the local community to do whatever we can to raise as much money as possible for this amazing cause!”
Jade’s enthusiasm is clearly contagious; the Twitter account @CardiffBakeOff
has already gained over 700 followers in as many days, with @tyhafan
trending in Cardiff as event details were announced and shared. With this Twitter activity and a dedicated Facebook event page
with equally as much interest, this looks likely to be a very successful event, and one which will hopefully be the first of many Cardiff based fundraisers the whole community can get involved with and support, raising money and awareness for local charities, whilst having a jolly good time!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a whizz in the baking department, you can register to take part
in The Great Cardiff Bake Off, but if baking is not your thing, the event promises to be a full day of entertainment - and more importantly, cake - for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re thinking about fundraising for TŷHafan, there’s lots of ideas, tips and resources to help you
over on their website, as well as a great breakdown of exactly where your money goes
, so for every penny you raise, you know just how much of a difference you are making to the lives of those who depend on TŷHafan.