A WELSH charity is celebrating International Women’s Day with the announcement that two women have stepped into some of its most senior roles.
Tŷ Hafan has appointed a new chief executive and director of income generation.
The charity – which provides specialist palliative care services for children and young people across Wales – announced that interim chief executive Maria Timon Samra has the job on a permanent basis. She initially took over last May as interim.
Phae Jones has also been appointed as permanent director of income generation after taking up the role on an interim basis in October.
Tŷ Hafan board chairman Martin Davies said: “Maria Timon Samra joined Tŷ Hafan as interim chief executive last May. During her tenure she has led the organisation through an unprecedented period of challenge precipitated by the pandemic. She was also the voluntary chairwoman and trustee of Tŷ Hafan between February 2013 and December 2016
“The board has invited Maria to become our chief executive on a substantive basis, and I’m very pleased to announce that she has accepted our invitation.”
Ms Samra said: “Given my long voluntary association with this special charity, I feel humbled that the board of Tŷ Hafan has entrusted the chief executive role to me. It is a genuine privilege to lead the fantastic team here and to see first-hand the difference they make to children with life limiting conditions, and their families, across Wales.
“Tŷ Hafan has faced, and is continuing to face, immense financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, not in the least because of the cessation of all in-person fundraising events and the closure (for the third time) of our 19 shops due to the lockdown. This leaves us with a predicted income shortfall of approximately £2 million for the coming year.
“Tŷ Hafan’s inspirational care team has also had to adapt the way they deliver services, working incredibly hard to keep our hospice in Sully open for crisis stays and end-of-life care, and delivering care and support virtually to the hundreds of children and their families whom we support in their communities throughout Wales.
“It has been an enormous privilege for me to work with this team for the past 10 months as an interim chief executive, and I am very excited to continue to work with them on a permanent basis.
“I am committed to ensuring we are able to deliver the highest quality care and support to those who need our services throughout Wales, and excited to build on the proud heritage of Tŷ Hafan. I am confident that with the continued generous support of the people of Wales, we will build back better after the pandemic.”
Phae Jones joins as director of income generation on a permanent basis. She joined Tŷ Hafan in July 2020 on the legacy project but was appointed as interim director of income generation that October. She has 15 years experience of fundraising in the charity sector and six years in commercial business development.
Some of Ms Jones’ previous roles include head of fundraising for the Wye and Usk Foundation and has held senior roles in Worldwide Cancer Research and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
The University of South Wales alumni also led a critical incident team during the London bombings in 2005.
Ms Jones has been spearheading the ‘fit for future’ campaign to raise £1 million to refurbish the hospice in Sully.
Ms Samra said of Ms Jones: “Since joining us on July 1 last year Phae has had a great impact, supporting us to rebuild and transform our income generation capability. A true professions and team player, Phae is collaborating to ensure that Tŷ Hafan’s fundraising and philanthropic activities are supporter-led and data driven, and our income generation colleagues have the training and support they need.
“Tŷ Hafan is very fortunate to have secured the benefit of Phae’s extensive experience and expertise, and her positive, caring, collaborative, ‘can-do’ approach.”
Ms Jones said of her appointment: “I feel so privileged to be leading Tŷ Hafan’s income generation team. Tŷ Hafan is all about Wales and it’s about harnessing that passion.
“Our ‘fit for the future’ refurbishment appeal to upgrade our hospice is probably Tŷ Hafan’s biggest single fundraising appeal since it was founded 22 years ago.
“If you’d said to me, at the beginning of 2020, let’s run an appeal for £1 million for capital spend, in the midst of a pandemic, I’d have said ‘no thank you very much indeed!’ But we have so very nearly done it, with just around £50,000 left to go.
“For us to have been able to do this is a testament to the incredible generosity of the people of Wales, and to the hard work of Tŷ Hafan’s fundraising teams.
“For me now, it’s all about raising the funds we need to reach all those children, young people and their families who need our support, enabling them to live their fullest lives possible, and adapting Tŷ Hafan’s services to meet the needs of families as fully and effectively as we can.”
To find out more about Tŷ Hafan visit www.tyhafan.org.