The community of Ystradgynlais joined forces with its rugby club to raise over £1,500 for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

People of all ages, ranging from 4-year-olds to a 79-year-old, all took on several challenges in aid of the lifesaving charity.

The rugby club, which has close links to two of the Charity’s medics, Critical Care practitioner Dan Jenkins and Helicopter Transfer Practitioner Ruby Thomas, arranged a number of fundraisers, as well as taking part in the Charity’s My20 fundraiser.

Wales Air Ambulance celebrated its 20th anniversary on March 1 and to acknowledge the milestone, the Charity created a new fundraising event called My20. My20 allowed the participant to set themselves a challenge, task or activity relating to the number '20' which they completed during March.

Reflecting on why they took part in the My20 fundraiser, Gareth Thomas said: “It meant members of Ystradgynlais Rugby Club and the local community could join in during challenging times. It was also fantastic for health and well-being.”

The club and community smashed their £500 fundraising target, which saw them auction off a Welsh rugby shirt for £750, as well as a print of the Principality Stadium, which was donated by Riley Sporting Memories and ART Design Cymru.

Reflecting on the Wales Air Ambulance, Gareth added: “It’s of paramount importance. It’s a lifesaving service that we couldn’t live without because it reaches parts of Wales so quickly. As a club, we are so proud of all our members who supported this fundraiser.” 

Even the local Brownies took part, using the fundraiser as part of their ‘charity badge’.

Five-year-old Elin Jones and her sister Catrin, 9, exceeded their fundraising target of £50 by raising £450. Their challenge involved running 20 miles, a part of which included a route to the Friends Wales Air Ambulance shop in the town.

Other members of the community who took part in the My20 challenge include:

Mali Thomas, who designed a poster and also did 20 miles with her brother Garin.

The rugby club’s president Glyn Rees completed 20 miles.

Under 13s team member Josseff Evans walked 20 miles, as well as Liz McSloy and daughters Non and Cerys, who also walked the same distance and also baked cakes in March.

The senior squad also got on board with a number of different challenges.

Emyr Addey ran 20 miles in a day.

Jane Griffiths, the Charity’s South Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “A huge thank you to Ystradgynlais Ruby Club and the community for making a huge effort during their My20 challenge. It is wonderful to see the community join forces with the rugby club to raise so much money for our lifesaving charity.

“My20 was an excellent way for the participants to make this challenge their own. The rugby club and community have been very creative and took part in a variety of different activities and tasks that related to the number 20.

“Thank you to everyone who took part in our special 20th-anniversary fundraiser and a special thanks goes to everyone who donated. You’re all helping save lives across Wales.”