It was the point at which he expressed concern about his pronunciation that we all knew we had won. We were all already rising from our chairs before the words ‘Tŷ Hafan Dads’ left his lips. And what an incredible moment.
In a general public online vote, the twenty men of the #5in55 team, who had walked 5 mountains in 22 hours and 26 minutes, had been chosen as the Just Giving Fundraising Team of 2018. We were all exhilarated! And congratulations to the other two teams that were shortlisted.
Sixteen of us had climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen-y-Fan. The four members of our support team were equally important, taking on the responsibility of the driving and feeding the walkers. Our team of twenty, from all walks of life, are bound by one common thing: Tŷ Hafan. We are either Dads and Uncles of children who have been or are being supported by Tŷ Hafan, staff or key sponsors.
When Gareth Jenkins first conceived the idea, the focus was on increasing awareness of how Dads and male family members cope when their child has a life-limiting illness. Gareth has worked for Ty Hafan for many years and was one of the care team who looked after my son, Greg, when we visited. We wanted to highlight how men emotionally handle situations differently to mums. I talked about this at the recent Tŷ Hafan ball.
However, the #5in55 challenge took on a life none of us expected and will raise nearly £40,000.
As Gareth was giving his acceptance speech, I was on stage with my arms around two of my fellow walkers. The sense of unity and friendship in the #5in55 group is unlike anything I have experienced before. Unfortunately, not everyone could make the London trip, but they were there in spirit. As Gareth’s speech drew to a close, I watched the whole audience erupt in applause. It was a wonderful moment. Hopefully, winning this award will help increase awareness of this amazing children’s hospice and encourage others to support and sponsor Tŷ Hafan events.
The #5in55 team
Walkers: Adam Bayjoo, Lloyd Davies, Paul Fears, Dan Forbes, James Davies-Hale, Ian Hicks, Gareth Jenkins, Laurence Morgan, Lee Morgan, Angelo Pucella, Daniel Pucella, Marco Pucella, Christopher Thomas, Brad Watson, Alun Williams, Andrew Williams;
Drivers & support team: David Bennett, Bob Hicks, Dave Haines-Knight, Haydn Jones;
Paul Fears is a commercial, industrial, events and wedding photographer based in South Wales and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.