On Saturday of last weekend we decided to go to our local science centre in Cardiff Bay called Techniquest. Our five year old twins love experimenting with all the different exhibits. I quite enjoy it myself if I’m honest. Haha! Big kid at heart.
The point of the trip wasn’t just to visit techniquest though. In Cardiff and the surrounding areas, there is a charity fundraiser going on called #snowdogswales. You may be wondering exactly what it’s all about so I will explain.
#snowdogswales is raising money for a local children’s hospice called Ty Hafen. I was very fortunate a couple of years ago with my wife to visit the hospice. It was a very humbling experience, and I felt honoured to see all the good work people are doing to make a difference in a sick child’s life, but also helping the family with some much needed rest from what is usually a 24/7 care routine.
The campaign is really a fantastic way to raise money for charity. It’s fun and the girls had an awesome time searching and looking for the snow dogs, reading out the numbers so we could input it into the app to register our visit. All the snow dogs have a theme and are either inspired or designed by individuals. Apparently there is a snow dog that looks like Gareth Bale which can be found somewhere. I actually know where it is, but I won’t spoil the fun of you finding it, and also as I have written recently about the girls joining Rainbows there is a badge they can earn for the finding snow dogs, which as it happens will be their first badge so it’s a win win situation for them.
As I have already said I had a guided visit of Ty Hafen a couple of years ago. It was a very important lesson that I learnt and sent a message to me of how lucky I am to have five children who have never had any serious illnesses and certainly not life threatening, or in fact terminal illness which is the case of so many of the children that spend time at Ty Hafen.
Yes my twin daughters spent time in a neonatal unit and it was at times touch and go, but I always felt it was going to be ok because they improved on a daily basis. I’m not sure how I would cope with knowing that I would end up losing a child. The thought of it is totally unimaginable and very hard to comprehend, so my admiration for the parents of such desperately sick children is beyond measure. I’m very lucky that I have five children that will all lead long and fruitful lives.
One thing that came out on my visit was how little funding Ty Hafen gets from the government. Nearly all their funding is raised private or from campaigns such as #snowdogsforwales. This is why even though it’s great fun to find the snow dogs, it’s ultimately about raising money, as Ty Hafen say to make a short life a full life.
It’s incredibly easy to donate all you have to do is text WOOF to 70660 to make a one off £3 donation, which really is not a lot in today’s world, but could make such a difference to a terminally sick child’s life.
We had a fantastic day as a family walking around Cardiff Bay even though storm Brian was approaching and I genuinely thought the girls were going to take off like kites at any moment. The winds and gusts were very powerful at times, which I’m sure made it even more fun for the girls, but Storm Brian didn’t dampen our spirits in finding as many snow dogs and pups as we could. It is really lovely way to bring communities together in support of such a great cause.