A FAMILY supported by Ty Hafan children’s hospice has got involved in an appeal to help the charity keep its services going during the coronavirus lockdown.

Blisse Mellens, an Ysgol y Deri pupil from Barry, is supporting the hospice which has assisted her and her family for eight years.

Mum, Laura Mellens said: “Blisse was referred to Ty Hafan by her neurology team.

“Ty Hafan has provided us with short break stays where she is able to enjoy sensory equipment and the hydrotherapy pool.

“All her complex needs are met, with the staff there.

“We are able to recharge and spend one on one time with her sister Nevaeh.

“They have been there for us during family crisis, when I've had numerous operations and hospital stays due to bowel disease.

“Shirley our family support practitioner is on hand when I need her.”

She added: “During this current pandemic of covid-19 families like mine are more anxious than usual due to our children's complex care needs.

“We are shielding Blisse due to her underlying health issues and previous admissions to the children's hospital.

“Ty Hafan have been in contact the whole time making sure we are all okay.

“This has been a very frightening time for us especially when I was so ill with Swine Flu when Blisse was born prematurely.

“Ty Hafan have been there for us, by supporting us virtually on social media and also by telephone.

“They have offered music, play, sensory massage sessions online through social media which Blisse enjoys especially the messy play ideas.

“Ty Hafan is currently only open for end of life care and crisis stays.

“They have had to cancel events, close their shops and can't fundraise at the moment so facing financial losses.

“They desperately need the public to support them during this global crisis to continue to be there for now and the future. Ty Hafan is our lifeline.

Tŷ Hafan director of care, Deborah Ho said: “Throughout this pandemic, we are doing all we can to keep our services running.

“Instead of stopping, we are changing the way we work.

“While our hospice doors are still open to provide end-of-life and crisis care for families, we’ve created a ‘virtual care’ programme that is being delivered by our community and family support practitioners.

“The programme incorporates play, music and massage therapy demonstrations for families to do together at home, as well as general support for those needing advice and a reassuring voice.

“The children we care for really are some of the most at risk in the country and this is on top of the unthinkable challenges they face every day.

“Our services are a vital lifeline to them at this moment in time so it’s more important than ever that we ensure that they feel supported and not alone.”

“We are seeing a huge drop of income already after having to cancel our fundraising events and close our shops across the country, yet we still need to raise £4.5 million to deliver our services this year.

“We’re urging people to think about making a donation to Tŷ Hafan to help us continue supporting families like Blisse’s at this incredibly challenging time.”

To make an online donation, visit tyhafan.org/appeal