It may have taken 25 years — but a landmark day in Llanelli's fundraising history has finally arrived. Ty Bryngwyn Hospice held a special ceremony on Friday to hand over the inpatient unit to Hywel Dda Local Health Board. It means the hospice — which was built thanks to a decade of dedicated fund- raising and the generosity of the public — has now fulfilled the dream of its founder, Thomas Lewis. Mr Lewis had envisaged the health service taking over the hospice when complete, but due to its reorganisation at the time, this was not possible.

The landmark celebration also commemorated 25 years since Mr Lewis was first inspired by the idea of the hospice, as well as the completion of its new sun rooms.Chairwoman of the trust, and one of the founder members, Dr Mary Llewellyn- Morgan said: "To see the improvement that has been made is wonderful, and I would like thank everyone who has helped. We could not have done it without them. Simply and sincerely, Ty Bryngwyn Hospice says thank you.

"Secretary of the Ty Bryngwyn Fundraising Committee, Susan Thomas, said: "It is lovely to see everyone here on this very special occasion. It was Mr Lewis's dream to hand over the hospice to the trust, so we are all very happy."Pamela Rees, former secretary and former trustee, described it as a "wonderful occasion". She said: "It has been a long time coming, but we have achieved what we have been waiting for."Llanelli AM Helen Mary Jones added: "It has been a real triumph for the Llanelli community.  So many people have worked so hard over the past 25 years both to raise the money and then to get the NHS to fund them. The hospice is being looked at as a model for the whole of Wales."

A scroll to symbolise the handover was given to Hywel Dda's county director for Carmarthenshire, Linda Williams, and she thanked members of the hospice and the public for their dedication over the years."I am awestruck with what you have achieved," she said. "It has brought jobs to Llanelli. It has brought expertise to Llanelli and it has brought training and education to Llanelli. It may have started as a building, but it has truly developed into a quality service that has exceeded its many expectations."

Reproduced by kind permission of the Llanelli Star 05 May 2010

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