Residents at a Cardiff care home have been able to keep in touch with their loved ones thanks to a rugby club who donated two Amazon fire tablets after members ‘virtually’ walked around Wales four times and raised over £11,000

Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd, based in Pontcanna, decided to get together and try and raise money for charity, including supporting the NHS and people in care homes.

Members and players from the adult, ladies and junior teams, around 350 of them, decided to try and see how long it would take them to walk around Wales, which is around 1,000 miles, collectively by adding up each time they went out for a run or walk during lockdown. The club collated all the data and after two days discovered that the final distance reached was, in fact, 4,120 miles – enough to walk around the country four times.

Amazingly, Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd was able to raise £11,313 and decided to purchase over 100 Amazon Fire tablets to help people in care homes who have been unable to see family members.

Staff at Tŷ Llandaff, a private nursing, residential and respite care home in Conway Road, were the first care home in Cardiff to receive the devices.

The care home closed its doors to non-essential visitors in mid-March to protect those in its care from Covid-19. The care home has remained free of the virus since the outbreak and is accepting new admissions.

Tŷ Llandaff care home manager Lisa Cristina said: “This is such a wonderful gesture by Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd and everyone at Tŷ Llandaff really appreciates it. What a wonderful achievement by all the members to walk 4,000 miles between them!

“Naturally, residents are missing having visitors but we are setting up video calls and doing all we can so they get to see and speak to their loved ones as much as possible. Having two extra tablets means even more residents can interact with family members and more frequently. We’ve already seen it has made a real difference to their overall wellbeing.”

John Parry-Jones, president at Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd, who has been associated with the club since 1983, said the club was ‘overwhelmed’ by how much money it had raised. He said: “We’ve always tried to be a local

community club and what struck me about this initiative was it was something the players and youngsters organised and ran which was tremendous.

“Some of our members are doctors, nurses or work in care homes themselves or have family members that do so, everyone was keen to support the NHS and also help people in care homes who perhaps hadn’t been considered as much.

“We wanted to find a way where people in care homes who can’t receive visitors and might be feeling lonely could still stay in touch with families so, the idea quickly came about buying lots and lots of tablets to achieve this.

“I’m not sure any of us at the club expected to collectively walk over 4,000 miles, let alone raise over £11,000. It was beyond all of our expectations. I’m so proud of all the members of the club who were involved in this fantastic achievement.

“Tŷ Llandaff was the first care home to receive two of our tablets and we are delighted to hear it is making a difference already to residents. Staff at the care home do an incredible job.”