[dropcap cap="L"]LANELLI is preparing to celebrate a landmark occasion for one of the town's greatest examples of people power and community spirit.[/dropcap]A special ceremony is to be held for Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, which was built thanks to a decade of dedicated fundraising and the generosity of the public.
Since it opened in 1997, initially as a day care unit, it has continued to rely heavily on donations, as well as the unstinting commitment of its trustees and supporters.
As well as celebrating 25 years since it was first conceived, the hospice is hailing the completion of a new sun-room extension, and the acceptance of full funding of the inpatient unit by Hywel Dda Local Health Board.
Chairwoman of the trust, and one of the founder members, Mary Llewellyn-Morgan said: "It has been 25 years since our founder, Thomas Lewis had the inspiration to build and equip a hospice in Llanelli.
"The Hywel Dda trust at last, helped by a generous amount from the Ty Bryngwyn Trust, are going to care for the inpatient care unit.
"It is a landmark for Llanelli.
"I am absolutely thrilled that we are having such a celebration.
"We are looking forward to welcoming the many people who have helped us over the years."
Mr Lewis had envisaged the health service taking over the hospice when complete, but due to the re-organisation of the health service at the time, it had not been possible.
Secretary of the Ty Bryngwyn Fundraising Committee, Susan Thomas, said it was sad he was not around to see how the hospice had progressed, but that he would have been very proud.
"I so pleased Mr Lewis's dream has come true," she said.
"He would have loved to have been here.
"I think he would have been very proud.
"I am delighted to have been involved with the committee all these years."
The ceremony, taking place on Friday, April 30, will also feature an exhibition of the history of the hospice.
Dr Llewellyn-Morgan said: "Now patients will be able to use the sun-room and enjoy the garden outside despite the weather."
She added that she wished to thank everyone who had supported the hospice over the past 25 years.
"It is very humbling for so many people to be so generous over the years," she said.
"We would also like to thank the Llanelli Star readers for their help and generosity."
Hywel Dda's county director for Carmarthenshire, Linda Williams, said: "Hywel Dda Health Board has been working towards full core funding for Ty Bryngwyn for many years and we are delighted to now be in a position to provide this.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ty Bryngwyn Hospice Committee for their dedication, loyalty and hard work over the years.
"The important fund- raising work of this committee will still continue and will be extremely important in order to fund special initiatives to improve services and the patient experience.
"Palliative care is an extremely important service for our local residents and we are sure the Llanelli community will continue to offer their support to Ty Bryngwyn in the coming years."
More information and photos to follow.
Text with kind permission of Llanelli Star