Special Christmas rewards for extraordinary people

Irfon Williams and family being surprised

It’s the season of goodwill, and in the heart-warming Christmas Eve programme Diolch o Galon: Anrhegion yr Ŵyl, Rhys Meirion and Heledd Cynwal will be rewarding ordinary people for their extraordinary deeds.

The festive double-act will be spreading joy around Wales as they hand out surprise gifts to members of the public who have shown kindness and immense bravery during 2015. Viewers can enjoy hearing these life-affirming stories on Christmas Eve on S4C at 8.25pm.

Well-known classical singer and presenter Rhys Meirion, who hails from Ruthin, says: “The show features people who have been through very difficult circumstances or who have gone out of their way to help others. Obviously, Christmas is the best time to give presents, and some of these gifts are unique experiences; things that money can’t buy. Some of these people even get to meet their heroes. The show is an emotional roller-coaster. There will be tears as well as laughter. A warm festive feeling permeates the programme.”

Among the six people featured in the documentary are volunteers, fundraisers and those who have inspired others despite facing huge adversity themselves.

They include people such as Valmai Fox from Penllergaer, Swansea, who has dedicated her life to caring for, and championing the elderly in her local community; Irfon Williams from Bangor, who has overcome bowel and liver cancer and has worked tirelessly to raise funds for special facilities at Ysbyty Gwynedd; and seven year old Evan Owens from Ystradgynlais, who saved his mother’s life by bravely calling for the emergency services when she collapsed at their family home.

Also appearing in the programme will be Faye Jones, from Valley, Holyhead, who despite suffering from Macular degeneration, is still working to help visually impaired people across north Wales; Haf Jones from Llanrug, who has raised more than £45,000 for good causes over the last two decades; and Ffion Dudley from Garndolbenmaen, near Porthmadog, who donated a kidney to her sister, Llio, who needed a transplant.

Rhys and Heledd will hear the story of each of these remarkable people, but they will also have an extra surprise in store as they enlist the help of a few celebrity friends.

Rhys adds: “It’s nice to reward people; some are volunteers, others are so modest, they don’t want any fuss. It’s quite a surprise for them.These people have come through some very sad situations, but have turned misfortune into something that can give other people hope. They have inspired those around them.”