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From the Valleys Newsroom...

Founder of local charity ‘2 Wish Upon A Star’ gets an MBE

Founder of local charity ‘2 Wish Upon A Star’ Rhian Mannings has been honoured with an MBE in the Queens New Years honours list.

Rhian, from Miskin, faced unimaginable tragedy after Paul took his own life five days after the death of their son George before his first birthday. She has always believed that if proper bereavement support had been in place in the immediate aftermath of George’s death, Paul would still be alive. George suffered a seizure at home and it was later discovered he had been suffering from pneumonia and Type A influenza.

Since the double tragedy, Rhian, 42, has made it her mission to drastically improve services for families affected by the sudden loss of a child. Her charity 2 Wish Upon a Star has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2012 and now works with every hospital emergency unit across Wales. It also works with every coroner, mortuary, organ donation team and the Wales Air Ambulance to make sure no family misses out on support.

In a statement on the chatities Facebook page, Rhian said this about her inclusion in the New Year Honours: “I am so proud to have been given this honour. However, every recognition I get is bitter sweet. I would send it back in a heartbeat if I could bring back my boys and change the past.

“When I established 2 Wish I never thought it would become what it has today. Paul and George should be here today but instead I am determined to make sure their memory live on in the work of our charity.

“The success of 2 Wish Upon a Star is down to the teams of volunteers, staff, and the families we help every day, as well as the selfless people who walk, run, ride and fundraise all year round to help make a difference. This honour is for them as much as it is for me.

“I hope Paul and George are looking down with pride, this is just the beginning. I will continue to fight to ensure everyone in Wales who loses a child suddenly gets the support they deserve.”

Many congratulations to Rhian on behalf of everyone at GTFM. The picture was taken at a recent visit to GTFM to chat about the charity with James Amos.