A nine-year-old boy has honoured his late brother by completing a fundraiser to mark what would have been his 13th birthday.

Cai Jones and his 16-year-old brother Tomi, both set themselves individual running challenges in memory of Ned.

Despite the best efforts of Wales Air Ambulance who flew to his aid, five-year-old Ned tragically passed away following a car accident in 2016, which also saw his grandmother lose her life.

Cai kicked off his fundraiser by running 13 miles in one week; two miles a day for six days and then one mile on the final day 2 March, which was Ned’s birthday. Cai had the support of his older brother Tomi throughout the challenge, he was delighted to be joined by 23 of his friends to finish off the final mile. Staff from Cai’s School - Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, also came along to support him.

Family friend, Enid Gruffudd, who is the junior running club coach, showed her support by doing some warmups with the children and joining them on the run.

The boys from Capel Bangor set themselves the fundraising target of £1,300 in Ned’s memory. However, they smashed that by raising an incredible £2,282 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Later in the year Tomi will take on his own running challenge. He will be running in his first ever senior race – Aberystwyth 10k which will take place in December.

The furthest Tomi has previously run is 5k, so the 10k will be a challenge but will give him something to train for.

Tomi, a pupil at Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig, attends a weekly running training group, coached by a local runner called Dic Evans, who has previously represented both Wales and GB.

Proud mum Sharon, said: “It was really overwhelming that so many had come to support, and it meant so much that every one of them there thought about Ned on his birthday.

“It was really moving at the end when all the runners were back - they all shouted 'Penblwydd Hapus Ned!' Cai has loved his challenge. He has been so happy all week. It's been really inspiring. Tomi is now looking forward to starting his training for his challenge over the summer.”

This is the first time the boys have fundraised themselves. However, their dad Bleddyn, has previously completed a 24-hour indoor rowing challenge to raise money in memory of Ned. Cai and Tomi showed their support to their father during his fundraiser by hopping onto the rowing machines alongside him. The event raised over £11,500 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

On Ned’s birthday the family celebrated with a Chinese takeaway, because that is what Ned had asked for on his 5th birthday and it’s something they’ve done ever since losing him.

Reflecting on the emotional week, Sharon continued: “I also shared Ned's memory box with Cai that evening. It's the first time he's seen it. It was really emotional for him to touch the lock of Ned's hair and place his hand on the plaster mould of Ned's hand. In all it has been an emotional week, but I'm so happy that we were able to make Ned's 13th birthday special, and it will be a memory for us to cherish.”

Flora Stanbridge, Community Fundraiser for Wales Air Ambulance, said: “It has been heart-warming to hear how Tomi and Cai are both fundraising in honour of their brother Ned..

“The support that the Jones family has shown the Charity since losing Ned has been inspiring. They have turned such tragic circumstances into a positive outcome by wanting to continue to help others who need our help in Wales. A huge thank you goes to all their friends and family who have shown the boys their support and marked Ned’s birthday beautifully. We look forward to hearing how Tomi will get on with his running challenge later in the year and wish him well.

“Fundraisers, like Cai and Tomi’s helps to keep our helicopters in the air and our rapid response vehicles on the road - they have raised an incredible amount for us. Diolch yn fawr pawb.”

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery. 

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.  

There is still time to show your support to the boys’ by donating to their fundraiser via their JustGiving page here