Presidents & Patrons
We are extremely fortunate to receive fantastic support from our wonderful Patrons who launch Appeals, attend events, create publicity, help raise our profile, and who give their time freely, making an invaluable contribution to Velindre.
A sporting legend! Jonathan began supporting Velindre back in 2007 first as a Patron and for over ten years as President. Jonathan’s commitment to Velindre has been truly extraordinary – running his annual golf day for over ten years, encouraging others to become involved, and highlighting Velindre at every opportunity. Jonathan celebrated his 50th birthday in style by leading Velindre’s first ever overseas bike ride challenge, the Captains California Bike Ride in September 2012, then led our East Coast Bike Ride from Boston to New York in 2014, and our West Coast Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2018. In 2022, Jonathan led two overseas bike rides, one in Majorca with over 60 participants and one in Las Vegas with over 90 participants. In 2022, Jonathan created an event that supported both Velindre Cancer Centre and Swansea Bay Health Charity to help raise funds for Cancer Services across both hospitals. The event is called Jiffy's Cancer 50 Challenge and in it's first year raised over £118,000 which was evenly split between both causes. Find out more here: www.cancer50challenge.co.uk Jonathan's wonderful support of Velindre was recognised with an OBE in 2015 and has inspired many businesses, celebrities and fundraisers to join him in raising vital funds and awareness. At the end of 2020 Jonathan has helped raise £34 million pounds for Velindre and in 2022, helped the Charity hit their £40 Million milestone.
People don't appreciate the work Velindre does until the unfortunate time comes and you need it, then you realise how good a place it is and how hard people work there. They are amazing.
Alan, Maggie and Hywel – The Petersons’ were the first group to be appointed as Family Ambassadors for Velindre in 2012 and have been terrific supporters for many years; Hywel’s appointment as a Velindre Vice President recognises this exceptional commitment and enthusiasm. Highly respected by Velindre Patrons, many of whom he has worked closely with over the years Hywel has a terrific reputation both in Wales and nationally is a wonderful addition to the Velindre Family.
We are very fortunate at Velindre Cancer Centre to have had Roy as our Vice President for over twenty and everyone at Velindre is extremely grateful for his continued support. A consummate communicator, in 1999 Roy received a prestigious Sony Award which has helped to cement his place as one of Wales’s most popular broadcasters. In 2001 Roy was awarded an OBE for his charity work.
Gareth Bale MBE
Football Legend, Gareth Bale, became a Velindre Patron in 2019 and sent the Charity's social media into meltdown. Often referred to as one of the best wingers of his generation, Gareth has become a five time Premier League champion claiming the title during his time at Real Madrid. Gareth has become a trail blazer for Welsh Football. He has been named Wales' highest goal scorer and has won Welsh Footballer of the Year a record 6 times. In 2022, Gareth was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to football and Charity. Gareth has been a fantastic support in raising the profile of Velindre Cancer Charity and the difference donations make to our patients and their families. Gareth led the Charity's Wear Red campaign in 2021 in support of the Euros and saw the Charity gain support from a whole new audience of football fans. We are very lucky to fundraise and campaign alongside such a welsh icon and sporting legend.
Ospreys, Wales and British Lions legend Shane Williams has been a long term Velindre supporter, firstly as an Ambassador and since 2016 as a highly committed Patron. He threw himself into fundraising and took part in various challenges such as marathons, triathlons and bike rides and he attended various dinners and lunches, launched appeals, donated copious amounts of signed memorabilia and helped with many media activities. In 2015 Shane led our Patagonia Trek celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Welsh settlers and in 2017, ahead of the British Lions Tour of New Zealand, he led our Ride With The Pride 400km bike ride from Auckland to Matama. In 2018 he took part in our West Coast Bike Ride from Sam Francisco to LA and led Velindre Team in the Tour of Pembroke Bike Ride in 2018 & 2019. In 2022, he supported not one, but two overseas bike ride challenges that took participants to Majorca and Las Vegas.
Geraint Thomas is the first and only Welshman to win the Tour De France, and rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Ineos, Wales and Great Britain, competing on both track and road. On the track, he has won three World Championships and two Olympic gold medals. His incredible success saw him become BBC Sports Personality of the year in 2018. Velindre President Jonathan Davies was delighted to announce at the Best of Wales Gala Ball that Geraint Thomas had accepted our invitation to become a Velindre Patron.
In September 2013 Rhod led his first Velindre event with the Trek of a Lifetime to the Roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro and released a brilliant TV programme called Rhod v Kilimanjaro. November 2015 saw Rhod lead a trek to Patagonia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers arriving in South America, and in 2017 along with 50 other trekkers conquered a remote Inca trail culminating at Machu Picchu in Peru. In February 2019 Rhod spearheaded a trek along the Helambu trail in Nepal and in 2022, led over 60 participants on our Cuba trek. As well as raising hundreds of thousands of pounds through treks, there has been a series of memorable comedy evenings, with Rhod's Hoof Cancer Right where it Hurts shows attracting the UK's finest comedians including Greg Davies, Michael McIntyre and John Bishop. During the pandemic, Rhod hosted two virtual quiz nights continuing the Hoof Cancer theme and raised over £20,000. Find out more here: www.hoofcancer.co.uk
James Dean Bradfield
James grew up in Blackwood and formed the Manic Street Preachers with his cousin Sean and friends. The Manics have since gone on to achieve huge commercial and critical success. The Manics have headlined many festivals including Glastonbury and have won a number of awards and accolades including four BRIT awards, eleven NME awards and eight Q Awards. James led our 150th anniversary trek to Patagonia in 2015 alongside fellow Manic Sean Moore and has since supported the Charity through his post-pandemic, NHS concert held in Cardiff. James and the band chose to donate a very generous part of their sales to help support staff, patients and families at Velindre.
Martyn started his glittering rugby career at Pontypridd and has since achieved legendary status by being capped 100 times for Wales., and completing three Lions tours. For many years Martyn led the very popular annual Martyn Williams Walks attracting hundreds of walkers. After completing the Captains California Bike Ride in 2012, Martyn led the Kilimanjaro Trek of a Lifetime in 2013. He has since taken part in the East Coast Bike Ride in 2014, led our Ride the Rockies Bike Ride from Canmore to Jasper in 2016 and our West Coast Bike Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2018
Sam has captained his country a record 49 times, is the youngest ever World Cup captain, has won 2 Six Nations titles and a Grand Slam. Sam is an undefeated British & Irish Lions Test captain. Sam, his family and friends are terrific supporters of Velindre. He regularly attends events, launches appeals, hosts fundraising balls and lunches and visits patients at Velindre. Since retirement, Sam has lead his first Velindre overseas bike ride in Majorca, a challenge that was organised in memory of fellow Welsh Rugby Player and Velindre supporter, Matthew J Watkins.
Jasmine Joyce is a Welsh rugby union player who plays wing for the Wales women's national rugby union team, Team GB and Bristol Bears. Jasmine made her debut for the Wales national squad in 2017, and represented them at the 2021 Women's Six Nations Championship before becoming one of the first women rugby players to receive a full-time contract with the WRU. Jasmine became involved with Velindre Cancer Charity as part of the 2022 Wear Red campaign which saw a record number of schools engaging with the campaign. Jasmine continues to raise the awareness of Velindre Cancer Centre and support the Charity through a number of ways.
Brynmor Williams MBE
A dual international, Brynmor uniquely played three times for Wales, and also appeared in three Test matches for the British & Irish Lions,. Brynmor is a fluent Welsh-speaker and sought after commentator and studio analyst. A highly respected businessman with a wealth of contacts, Brynmor is also an excellent after dinner speaker, and has provided great entertainment at many dinners in aid of Velindre. In 2022, Brynmor was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his contribution to sport and Charity.
Carolyn has written and presented television and radio series on the arts, popular culture, consumer issues, women’s issues, history and sport for Radio 4, BBC Wales and ITV Wales, and has her insightful column for Media Wales is essential reading. Carolyn first became an Ambassador for Velindre Fundraising in 2013 after her mother was treated at Velindre and has continued to support us ever since. An experienced and accomplished after dinner speaker and compere, Carolyn has spoken at a variety of Velindre fundraising events, and joined us on our 150th anniversary trek in Patagonia in November 2015 raising almost £30,000 in sponsorship.
Emmy award winning actor Matthew Rhys has supported Velindre for a number of years. He provided a wonderful Christmas Eve staff for patients (and staff!) when he read from his own copy of Dylan Thomas’s A Child's Christmas in Wales in 2015. Matthew has provided valuable insight into our American bike rides and also supplied great pieces for many of Rhod Gilberts Hoof Cancer Quiz nights.
A former Wales & British Lions Rugby captain, Mike has been an avid supporter of Velindre since 2009 when he signed up to the Captains Climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010. He has gone on to complete several other overseas events including the Captains California Bike Ride in 2012 and the Captains East Coast Bike Ride in 2014. Mike has also supported many other Velindre events, launched appeals and organised two hugely successful fundraising balls. Velindre was also his chosen charity for his book ‘The Mike Hall Story’.