Cwtch. It’s a uniquely Welsh word where the usual English translations of cuddle or hug don’t quite do it justice. It’s more than just an embrace. One translation of the word is ‘safe place’. With a cwtch, you snuggle, cuddle, protect; it’s the feeling of warmth that you get from closeness to a loved one. It’s all that and more.
However you translate it, a cwtch is one of the most precious moments between parent and child. But imagine how precious those cwtches would be if you knew your child would not make it into adulthood due to terminal illness or an incurable medical condition. You’d want to hold your child so close and savour every moment, so that you would always remember their sweet smell, and how their warm breath felt on your skin, and the sound of the beating of their heart.
I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating it must be to see your child’s future taken from them, but for hundreds of families across Wales, that is their reality. And it’s why I’m supporting Tŷ Hafan’s Precious Moment’s campaign as a blogger ambassador.
Tŷ Hafan – the children’s hospice for Wales – can’t give the gift of time to many of the families they look after. But they can give them the gift of precious moments to enjoy together. Each week in November and December, Tŷ Hafan is asking people to share photos of their precious moments on social media to raise awareness of the work that they do and to help encourage donations towards the £4m it needs to raise each year to provide its services.
Last week, I shared a precious moment that, to me, epitomised the word exciting. This week, the theme is cwtch, and you only have to look at these photos of some of the families Tŷ Hafan helps to see exactly how precious a cwtch can be.
This week, I’m sharing one of my all-time favourite photos of me and Little Miss E, my daughter. You’ll see it here on my blog, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page and on my Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Miss E turns six in a couple of weeks but in this photo she was just three months old. I hadn’t realised my husband had taken this photo until I was looking through my camera later that day, but the way she is snuggled into my shoulder, so warm and cosy and sleepy, brings a tear to my eye. She’s still an affectionate little girl, who loves to cwtch – but nothing is quite as precious as those newborn cwtches which go on for hours, as your baby sleeps and nuzzles in to you.
It was taken at Woolacombe Bay in Devon, the same beach I had walked along almost exactly a year earlier, crying my eyes out because I’d not long had a miscarriage and was desperate to be pregnant. Little did I know then, I was about to conceive.
For me, this photo perfectly epitomises both a cwtch and a precious moment.
Incidentally, it’s also the same beach that featured in my Precious Moments post last week, the first time we’d been back to Woolacombe as a family of five.
I’d love it if you could join me in sharing photos or stories of your own precious moments on social media to help raise awareness for Tŷ Hafan and the work it does.
Tŷ Hafan is one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities, offering care to children and support to their families, throughout Wales. The children’s hospice in Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, has supported more than 650 life-limited children and their families since 1999.
It offers comfort, care and support to children, young people and their families in the hospice, the community and in their home so that they can make the most of the time they have together. Parents and carers can relax and recharge their batteries, and the needs of brothers and sisters are never forgotten.
All this is provided to the families for free – so you can understand why raising awareness and funds is so important.
Or maybe instead you could make a donation via their website.
Even a small amount can provide valuable support to the families Tŷ Hafan supports.
£10 could pay for outreach play therapy for a family and their child.
£15 could pay for half an hour of physiotherapy to ease a child’s pain.
£23 could pay for an hour of support for a family.
You can also shop at any of their 31 charity shops across Wales, or donate good quality unwanted men’s, women’s and children’s clothes and accessories, bric a brac, homeware, books, DVDs and CDs. Goods can be dropped off at any of their shops or a free collection can be arranged. If you’re a fan of vintage, then check out the three Vintage Emporium shops they have in South Wales, as well as their eBay shop.
Will you share your precious moments for Tŷ Hafan? You can share with me on any of my social media channels (the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, Instagram feed and Twitter) – and don’t forget to follow Tŷ Hafan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and tag them in too.