One in a million: Matthew Hayes

Matthew Hayes is one in a million. 

The 20-year-old is one of the one million people already helped by the Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund since it was launched in March 2020. Here’s his story:

Matthew Hayes’ association with FIintshire charity DAFFODILS has become a family affair.

The 20-year-old was diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was four and began going to DAFFODILS when he was nearly five.

A year later 2005 Richard, from Bryn-y-Baal, near Mold, was elected chairman and his wife Wendy became the activities manager in 2010.

Richard and Wendy also have an older son Thomas, 21, and 18-year-old daughter called Jessica.

DAFFODILS started 20 years ago because of the lack of support available for children with a range of special needs including autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and ADHD.

Richard recalled: “We wanted to find other parents in our situation to help Matthew and help our understanding. I remember going to Mold Sports Centre with DAFFODILS and Matthew had the freedom to run around safely and be himself. We’ve been going to DAFFODILS ever since.”

During the last two decades DAFFODILS has worked with 817 families and currently works closely with around 200 families.

Richard, who had chaired DAFFODILS for the last 15 years, said: “Up until Covid-19 we were doing 160-180 events a year through which Matthew has been able to develop his own circle of friends.”

Covid-19 forced the charity to end their activities overnight because of the rules on social distancing.

The committee immediately switched their activities online and started doing more interaction on Facebook like sharing craft workshops and sing-along videos. 

They decided they wanted to do even more and were awarded £6,776 by the Steve Morgan Foundation to pay for a special project whereby they send craft packs out to young people every few weeks until July.

Matthew has not only received the craft packs but he’s helped put over 500 of them together.

Richard said: “We’re very grateful to the help of the Steve Morgan Foundation. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Matthew said: “DAFFODILS has been with me for as long as I can remember. It’s been really nice getting to know people. I have met my friends and my girlfriend through DAFFODILS. It’s a big part of my life.

“The activity packs are great. If you can’t come to DAFFODILS, DAFFODILS will come to you.”

The Steve Morgan Foundation has been working with DAFFODILS since 2007 and the latest grant brings the amount awarded to them in that time to over £200,000.

Philanthropist and businessman Steve Morgan announced in March he would be giving up to £1m a week to charities in Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire faced with a cashflow crisis as a result of Covid-19.

In the first eight weeks the Covid-19 Emergency Fund has made more than 400 awards to frontline charities – including DAFFODILS – helping over one million people in the process.

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