Hayward – who played and coached the Steelmen – is backing Ebbw’s move to partner with Hospice of the Valleys and raise much-needed funds.
“As proud ambassador of Hospice of the Valleys, I’m very happy to be supporting Ebbw Vale RFC in their joint venture with the hospice in raising vital funds for both organisations,” Hayward said.
“The amazing staff at the hospice provide vital care and support for people in our community with life-limiting illnesses. Throughout this current global crisis, the hospice has continued to provide the exceptional services to those in greatest need.
“As a former Ebbw player, it’s a privilege to be supporting a genuine community club with a rich history in Welsh rugby and strong cultural values. These unprecedented times are certainly a challenge for us all. However, I believe it’s also a time that brings out the best in people and an opportunity for us as individuals to shine by giving back to our community.
“Theses times will pass, we will shake hands, hug, and have a drink together again. So, until then will you please support these two great organisations in whatever way possible?
“As always, we are so grateful for your support and friendship.”
Explaining the decision to partner with Hospice of the Valleys, Ebbw Vale chairman Jonathan Jones said: “During the crisis caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic the work of the key workers within the country led by the NHS has been outstanding in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
“The officials at Ebbw have considered how we can help in some way and we believe that as a club that owes its excellent home facility to a Miners‘ Welfare Trust, we should support a local charity.
“We are delighted to launch a fundraising partnership with Hospice of the Valleys whose main facilities are a mile away from our Eugene Cross Park home. The hospice has been a strong and welcome presence in the community of Blaenau Gwent for a number of years providing a fantastic service to those affected by cancer and dementia.
“Many within the club have faced the difficulties caused by these all too prevalent illnesses and as a club we have taken part in fund raising for the hospice for a number of years.
“Their work within our community underpins the work of the NHS in these areas and is extremely important in providing a level of care that all within our fantastic community deserve. We want to play a part in ensuring this wonderful and needed work continues as strongly as it has for many years to come.”
Hospice of the Valleys provides specialist palliative care to the people of Blaenau Gwent and works with people who have a life-limiting condition such as heart failure or cancer.
To help raise money towards the Hospice of the Valleys and club, Ebbw are offering supporters the opportunity to ‘pre-order’ a certain number club packages and experiences.
Julie Williams, Business & Community Fundraising Manager for Hospice of the Valleys, said: “Our Hospice of the Valleys team are working alongside our NHS colleagues in the community providing support wherever it is needed be it in a patient’s home, in hospital, or in one of the 14 local care homes.
“Our amazing Hospice at Home team are helping to protect the NHS by helping to avoid hospital admissions where we can. Our team are truly on the frontline providing palliative care where our patients and those who matter most to them need us now more than ever before.
“The demand on our services has not gone away as we continue with our day-to-day support and also deal with Covid-19 on top of this. We need the support of the local community to help us raise vital funds and continue being there for our patients and their families.
“We must say a huge thank you to Ebbw Vale RFC who have chosen to support the hospice at this challenging time. We know our hospice means so much to the club, its players, supporters and community as a whole who have really taken the hospice to their hearts.
“We also hope this fantastic initiative receives the support it deserves which will of course benefit the club and hospice in helping to secure the futures for us both.”
Greg Woods, Ebbw Vale head coach, said: “It’s fantastic to see we have partnered with such a worthy charity for the forthcoming 2020/21 season. I know it is a charity close to so many people who are associated with the club and the town itself.
“Hopefully this association will bring increased awareness and funds to the charity over the year. As a playing and management group we are looking forward to getting involved and helping out as much as we can and I am sure you will agree it is a great choice and worthy cause.”
To support Ebbw Vale and Hospice of the Valleys go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-the-steelmen-hospice-of-the-valleys.