In February 2012 Rhian had just returned to work as a P.E. teacher after having her youngest son George when tragedy struck her family. George died suddenly with no sign of illness in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant on the 22nd February. Just days later Paul, her husband and the Daddy to her three children, took his own life traumatised by the loss of their son.
The tragedy of experiencing the sudden death of a child was compounded by the situation Rhian and her husband found themselves in at the hospital, having nowhere to privately grieve and say goodbye to their son. The family were offered no support and were left to deal with the loss of both Paul and George alone.
Motivated by a desire to ensure others would not have the same devastating experience after losing a child suddenly in hospital, Rhian set up the child bereavement charity ‘2 Wish Upon a Star’. To date the charity has raised over £1,800,000 exclusively from small public donations and local fundraising and 2 Wish Upon A Star is now an All Wales organisation helping hundreds of families every year who experience sudden and traumatic loss.
Rhian is also very passionate about mental health and regularly speaks about her own struggles since losing her boys. She took part in a BBC documentary in 2017 ‘Mind Over Marathon’ raising awareness of mental health and speaks out about mental health in men and following sudden bereavement.
In December 2019 Rhian was recognised on the Queen’s New Year honour list and awarded an MBE for her hard work.
Rhian now works full time at 2 Wish Upon A Star and is determined that every family in Wales who loses a child suddenly receives the support they truly deserve. The love and pride for her boys, along with her drive to succeed has seen the charity flourish and as a result Rhian has been recognised for her hard work on a number of occasions.
Halifax Giving Extra Award 2014 Winner
WCVA Volunteer of the Year Award 2014 Highly Commended
St David’s Award for Citizenship 2015 Winner
Prime Ministers Point of Light Award 2015 Winner
Leadership in the Voluntary Sector Award 2015 Highly Commended
Chwarae Teg Womenspire Award 2016 Winner
MIND Speaking Out Award 2017 Winner
Cwm Taf Health Board Honorary Star Award 2017
Pride of London Award 2018
Dyfed Powys Police Pembrokeshire Partnership Award 2019
Introbiz Charity Lead of the Year Winner 2019