Grandparents Huw and Sheila Jones marked their 40th wedding anniversary by receiving donations for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity, instead of gifts.

The lifesaving charity was chosen to benefit from the generous £1,000 raised, during the ruby wedding celebrations, by the couple’s children, Sonya and Aled.

Speaking of the importance of the Charity, mum-of-two Sonya, said: “As a family, we all live in the village of Gwynfe. It is a very rural area in Carmarthenshire and the air ambulance has been here many times.

“My parents both farm, keeping sheep and beef cattle. As the area is so rural, there are some parts that a road ambulance wouldn’t be able to reach, especially if it’s a farmer on the land or up on the hill. I feel that it’s a vital resource.” 

To celebrate the milestone, the family arranged a surprise party, prior to lockdown.

On the wedding anniversary - St David’s Day - Sonya, her husband Emyr and their two children Rhodri and Llyr, took Huw and Sheila out for afternoon tea. Whilst they were enjoying the afternoon tea their son Aled and his husband, Gareth, started preparing the food ready for the celebrations.

Instead of the evening meal they were expecting, Huw and Sheila were treated to a party with 135 guests and a beautiful four-tier cake, which was made by their son-in-law Gareth.

After a recent family bereavement, Sonya was pleased the party went ahead. She added: “We had a lovely afternoon tea and, when leaving, my parents thought that my brother and his husband were taking them out for an evening meal. But back to the hall in Gwynfe we went. My mother’s face was a picture, and she is never stuck for words.”

On behalf of the happy couple, Sheila, said: “We are truly grateful for all the donations that came in from everyone. We had a great evening, surrounded by family, friends and neighbours.”

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “Congratulations to Huw and Sheila Jones on their 40th wedding anniversary. Thank you to the family for picking our lifesaving charity to receive the donation. As Sonya mentioned, our medics regularly attend rural incidents, many miles away from specialist care. It’s people like the Jones’ that keep this service running. Thank you to everyone who donated.”