A brave four-year-old Neath boy will walk up South Wales’ highest peak – Pen y Fan - on the first anniversary of his father’s death for the Charity that fought to save his life.

Calan-James Rees, who will walk up the Brecon Beacon peak with his mother, Gemma Lewis, in August, has so far raised £237 in memory of his dad Sam Rees - who died following an off-road motorcycle accident in Tairgwaith.

Sam, 26, was a ‘loving, supportive and caring father’ to Calan-James, Gemma said: “Sam wasn’t just an amazing loving dad, he was an incredibly supportive partner and helped me and our son to get where we at today, he helped me through my tough days.”

The family are hoping to raise £1,000 for the lifesaving service which came to Sam’s aid within seven minutes of the call.

Reflecting on the importance of the 24/7 lifesaving service, Gemma, said: “The Wales Air Ambulance went above and beyond and put all their amazing effort love and dedication to our Sam but unfortunately our Sam couldn’t be saved due to the fatal injury.

“In honour of his memory we will be walking Pen y Fan to raise more money for this amazing charity which saves lives day-in, day-out! We want to finally give something back to these amazing people for all their dedication, love and effort in saving lives and trying to save lives every day.”

The walk will take place on Monday, 30 August at 10am. Gemma has said that anyone is welcome to walk with them.

Gemma is grateful for the support they’ve both received since Sam’s death, adding: “We as a family have had incredibly amazing support from not just our family and friends, we’ve also had an amazing support from the community, as well as the aftercare team at the Wales Air Ambulance. We as a whole family would love to give back as a thank you for all their kind support since we tragically lost Sam.

“Also a big thank you to all our amazing supporters who have supported us and continue to support our fundraiser. You all are absolutely thoughtful and kind-hearted. Any little donation is a big help to us, and we want to thank the community and all those amazing people who have donated”

The Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun Cae Gurwen  pupil, who his mum describes as incredibly strong, is excited but also nervous about walking up Pen y Fan with his mother.

Proud mum, Gemma, said: “Calan is incredibly strong and loves to help us set goals; he helps us by trying to complete challenges of all kinds. On the day we all will be there to support him in any way. We are hoping to raise a big £1,000 in memory of his dad to help the Wales Air Ambulance save more lives around Wales and help those in need!”

Elin Murphy, the Charity’s South-West Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “Thank you so much to Calan-James and Gemma, who despite the heartbreak they’re experiencing are determined to raise funds for the Charity that tried to save Sam’s life. What they’re doing, and the money they’re raising, will help us to help others in need. At just four-years-old Calan-James is walking up the highest peak in South Wales on the first anniversary of his dad’s death to raise much-needed funds for the Charity, which is incredible. Good luck with the walk.”

In December 2020, the Charity achieved its aim of operating a 24/7 service. Wales now has access to the service’s Emergency Department-standard critical care around the clock and to keep the helicopters in the air, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year.   

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.