Croeso i HAHAV Welcome!

Hospice at Home Aberystwyth Volunteers

We are a volunteer led community service for North Ceredigion, West Wales. Our teams provide practical help, social care and friendship for people with chronic, life limiting illness and those needing end of life support. HAHAV’s services are currently delivered to clients and their carers in their own homes and in future, additional activities will be held at our new Plas Antaron day centre.

Established since 2015, we are a registered charity. Please explore our website to discover more about our work, how to volunteer and how to contact us. Thank you for your interest!

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About Us

HAHAV’s mission is to provide practical, social, and emotional support to patients who are living with advanced, and progressive illness and to their carers, in the comfort of their own homes, and, in future, at our Plas Antaron day centre.

HAHAV was established by volunteers in 2015. The initiative is led by HAHAV’s chair, Dr Alan Axford, OBE, former Medical Director of Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDU). We work with a wide range of relevant organizations including HDU; GPs; Severn Hospice; Carers Wales; Ceredigion Council; Community Councils and Welsh Government.

Referrals to HAHAV come from GPs and hospital palliative care staff but can be from social services/church/voluntary organizations plus some self-referrals or by patient contacts.

HAHAV volunteers come from all walks of life. They are all trained and DBS checked. They work with GPs, district nurses and other third sector and social care professionals providing palliative care and signposting locally. Our ‘sitting’ services to patients at home include companionship, shopping, driving, gardening, dog walking and respite for carers. Plus monthly ‘Living Well’ groups, and weekly open coffee mornings.

HAHAV’s success since 2015 has been founded on goodwill and local fundraising, plus unstinting efforts by our volunteers, some 80 of whom have delivered over 45,000 hours work and to date HAHAV has assisted over 275 cases at home (about 70 each year).

HAHAV’s charity shop was established in Aberystwyth in July 2015. Since that time 40 volunteers have contributed more than 18,000 hours sorting, pricing and selling donated goods. All monies raised are used to fund HAHAV work in the community.

We have also received support from local churches and community groups – Aberystwyth Business Club; League of Friends; Penparcau Hwb; Merched y Wawr; WI; Young Farmers Clubs; Rotary/Inner Wheel; Round Table/41 Club/Ladies Circle/Tangent; Soroptomists; student unions. Plus endorsements from Aberystwyth/Lampeter universities; Coleg Ceredigion.

Plas Antaron

HAHAV’s centre at Plas Antaron, Southgate, Penparcau is HAHAV’s new headquarters. Plans are in hand for it to be a day respite centre. Together with partners we hope to offer a range of services and the centre will also be a training base for Hywel Dda University Health Board’s community palliative care team.

Plas Antaron will mean enhanced cooperation, resource optimisation and better integrated services to clients, their family and carers. As well as partnership working with HDU Health Board/Severn Hospice, our centre will offer other agencies opportunities to provide sessions on advanced care planning and bereavement support.

Complementary services/therapies will be provided by volunteer therapists, teachers, (art, reflexology, aromatherapy, Reiki, massage) plus a coffee shop run by volunteers.

Due to COVID-19 Plas Antaron is not open to the public until further notice.


Volunteers are the backbone of the HAHAV charity. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, age groups and backgrounds. There are a number of different roles required by the HAHAV team. These include:

  • Sitters: they interact directly with patients, their carers and families in the patient’s own home.
  • Fund-raisers: they participate in a range of activities to publicise the charity and to support it financially.
  • Shop assistants: they help in numerous ways in the HAHAV shop at 14 Pier Street, Aberystwyth.
  • Administrative and IT supporters: they fulfil a range of functions necessary to keep a vibrant service running well.

After an initial expression of interest, each volunteer completes an application form and is invited to an interview.

All volunteers will be involved in an initial training programme and depending on their chosen role, they will be provided with continuing training, development, support and supervision.

Volunteer expectations of HAHAV

Volunteers expect to be:

  • treated with dignity and respect
  • participate in meaningful ‘work’ on behalf of the community
  • appropriately trained
  • given timely information
  • supported

HAHAV expectations of volunteers

HAHAV expects volunteers in return to be:

  • respectful
  • reliable
  • ethical
  • confidential

Email address for volunteers is


Our shop at 14 Pier Street, is a well-loved Aberystwyth landmark, and an important source of funding for the service. The high standard of donations and the dedication of our volunteers have helped build the widely recognised reputation for excellence in both presentation and quality of offering.

Due to Covid-19 our volunteers have worked behind the scenes and achieved a return to trading which ensures the safety of our volunteers, customers, and supporters. Our hours of opening are increasing weekly and will hopefully soon return to ‘as normal as possible’ shortly. The constraints imposed, due to covid, on the handling and storage of goods mean that we are still unable to accept your donations of items. We are working hard to resolve the situation and hope to be able to resume in the not too distant future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HAHAV hospice care?

HAHAV’s hospice care aims to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of adult clients with a life-limiting or terminal condition. Our volunteers help people, including those on a cancer journey, to live as fully and as well as they can in their own homes and until the end of their lives, however long that may be.

How are people referred to HAHAV?

The majority of current referrals are people suffering from cancer but also include other life limiting illnesses (e.g. advanced cardio respiratory disease; degenerative neurological diseases). Referrals come from GPs and hospital palliative care staff but can be from social services/church/voluntary organizations plus some self-referrals or by patient contacts. Our services are available to adult clients of any age, religion or race.

Does HAHAV give grants or provide financial support?

No. We can only offer support in kind. However our volunteers aim to signpost clients to organizations that can perhaps help in this way.

How is HAHAV funded?

At present almost all HAHAV funds are raised from our charity shop in Aberystwyth and from donations by the general public, local organisations and charities.

Who are HAHAV’s partners?

HAHAV works very closely with local NHS staff, GP surgeries, social services and the voluntary organizations such as Hywel Dda University Health Board Palliative Care teams, Macmillan support, and Marie Curie Living Well Groups. We also maintain links with Cancer Research; Cancer Support; Tenovus; Age UK; Mind Cymru.

How can I volunteer to work with HAHAV?

We welcome new recruits from all walks of life for our register of unpaid volunteers who can help with a wide range of activities. We also provide relevant training and you can specify what sort of work you wish to be involved in and for how many hours or days per month you can work.

Volunteers are needed for our home sitting services such as companionship, shopping, driving, gardening, dog walking and respite for carers.

In our HAHAV shop, a rota of volunteers help sort, price and display a wide range of donated goods and sell them to customers.

In future we will need volunteers for maintenance, cleaning, gardening and to serve in our ‘drop in’ coffee bar and provide companionship at Plas Antaron.

We would also like to hear from you if you are interested in fundraising or indeed if you have any other talents or ideas you think could assist in delivering HAHAV’s mission. Please contact us by email at

How is HAHAV governed?

HAHAV is a registered charity (Charity Commission No: 1160645) and a limited company (Companies House No: 09261439).

HAHAV is governed by a board of Directors and Trustees who are all unpaid volunteers. Together they are responsible for the strategic direction, regulation, financial probity and future development of the organization.


Dr Alan Axford OBE (Retired consultant oncologist; former Medical Director of Hywel Dda Health Board)

Board Members

  • Karen Axford (Retail director; qualified accountant)
  • Sue Balsom (Businesswoman; former High Sheriff of Dyfed)
  • Anthony Bates (Solicitor; Finance Director Aberystwyth Football Club)
  • Gerallt Davies (Independent financial consultant)
  • Irfana Jones (Retired solicitor)
  • Janet Jones (Former local school teacher)
  • Meurig Lewis (Retired bank manager)
  • Dr Donogh McKeogh (Consultant cardiologist Hywel Dda University Health Board)
  • Branwen Phillips (Former university facilities manager)
  • Syd Smith (Retired retail company director)
  • Mark Williams (School teacher; former MP for Ceredigion)


National Lottery awards £76.6k for new HAHAV Digital Hospice at Home Service in Ceredigion

September 2020

Aberystwyth and District Hospice at Home Volunteers (known as HAHAV), have been awarded £76.6k from the National Lottery Community Fund for a major digital project in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Established by volunteers in 2015, HAHAV is led by Dr Alan Axford OBE, the former Medical Director of Hywel Dda Health Board. The charity’s volunteers provide practical, social, and emotional support to patients, who are living with advanced, incurable and progressive illness, and to their carers, in the comfort of their own homes. HAHAV is Ceredigion’s only hospice facility and volunteers work closely alongside local NHS Palliative Care teams as well as other local charities.

Until COVID, HAHAV volunteers were providing ‘sitting’ services to patients at home, offering companionship, shopping, driving, gardening, dog walking and respite for carers. However lockdown put a stop to these activities, with at risk people needing to shield carefully. Meanwhile plans have also had to be postponed for the launch of a new hospice day centre at HAHAV’s headquarters in Plas Antaron, Penparcau.

To date HAHAV’s funds have been raised from the charity’s shop in Pier Street, Aberystwyth and from donations by the general public, local organisations and charities. Now the Lottery money will see HAHAV setting up a Virtual Hospice at Home service (‘V-HAHAV’) to support some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the community. As well as addressing the immediate limitations of COVID, the digital services will be the foundation of new long term, interactive outreach services to complement existing activities when they resume.

Commenting Dr Axford said, “We are immensely grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for this help. The award will allow us to employ a Project Director and see the creation of a comprehensive, interactive content management website and broadcast system.

With these exciting new developments our ‘V-HAHAV’ will be able to provide important signposting and online one-to-one counselling, plus a range of new occupational therapy and relaxation activities for clients at home. These include art and yoga therapies and all sorts of online group participation, for example exercise, knitting or book clubs. plus chat rooms, live talks and demonstrations broadcast from Plas Antaron. We will also have a loan pool of digital equipment for use by HAHAV clients.

In future, ‘V-HAHAV’ will help us reach a wider audience of patients and their carers in Ceredigion and provide a comprehensive virtual hospice hub and information centre,".