Westbourne’s Spring Ball 2023: An Interview with Dafydd Hobbs

Tickets are now available for the Westbourne Spring Ball 2023. This year’s ball will be hosted at  Cardiff City Hall and will again be raising money for charity. Each year, Westbourne hosts its Spring Ball – now a popular fixture in the local community calendar – to raise funds for a charity with a mission close to the school’s heart. Last year was for Calon Heart Screening and Defibrillators, which raised over £10,500. This year, they will be raising money for  Brain Tumour Research and One for the Road, a fundraising group created in honour of Charlotte  Hobbs, a beloved member of the Westbourne community. We spoke to Charlotte’s husband  Dafydd Hobbs about the upcoming Spring Ball and what this charity and fundraising group mean  to him and the family.  

Dafydd lost his wife, Charlotte back in March 2022, “She was diagnosed with a brain tumour in  2010 and underwent radiotherapy and surgery. She responded well to this treatment, but needed  regular scans each year. Unfortunately in October 2020, there were signs that the tumour had  grown back.”  

“She remained incredibly positive throughout 12 months of further surgery, radiotherapy and  chemotherapy, as she had done since 2010. In November 2021, she did 100 star jumps a day,  whilst in the middle of a chemotherapy cycle and also suffering with Covid. Despite having  completed multiple endurance events over the years whilst raising money for Brain Tumour  Research, such as the ‘UK 3 Peaks’ and a London to Brighton 100km walk, this was her toughest  challenge yet and she managed to raise £15,000. She tackled it head on with a smile on her face,  like everything else.”  

“Then in February last year, there was clearly something significantly wrong. The cancer has spread  very quickly and she died within weeks of that.”  

Even after Charlotte passed, the family continued to raise money for Brain Tumour Research and  set up their own fundraising group within the charity, called One for the Road. By doing this they  were able to create a unique brand for their fundraising events and make it personal to Charlotte.  

“We called it One for the Road because it was a famous saying for Charlotte. She loved to party,  loved socialising, and never wanted the night to end. So we thought the name ‘One for the Road’  was a good reflection of her.”  

Prior to her death, her youngest daughter, Catrin had organised a ‘Wear a Hat to School event at Westbourne for Brain Tumour Research and despite her mum passing away in the middle of  this, with the incredible support from the school, she raised over £5,500. Although this was  obviously an incredibly challenging time for Catrin, organising the event gave her somewhere to  focus her grief. “She felt like she was carrying on her mum’s legacy.”  

Charlotte’s eldest daughter, Freya, has run two fundraising events in a local gym and raised over  £3000. In total, have now raised nearly £20,000 since March and this is in addition to the £15,000  that Charlotte raised with her Star Jumps and the many thousands raised over the preceding ten  years. 

“The girls are so strong and always have a smile on their faces. We constantly share lots of  amazing memories about their mum and the times we talk about their mum and the times we talk  about her are always positive- exactly as she was and would want to be remembered.”  

From what Dafydd experienced with Charlotte’s treatment, he could see that this area of medicine  is underinvested, which is why the family is working so hard to make a difference for other people.  “In every other aspect of life I have seen that the world has moved on and yet in the 10 years  between Charlotte’s treatments everything was the same. The world has changed and yet walking  into the hospital felt like deja vu. She had 11 and a half years and so she was considered a  success story. But for me, a success story would be if she had beat the cancer.”  

Westbourne has a clear strong sense of community and Dafydd expressed his appreciation for all  their support. “They have been a real point of strength for our family in so many ways. And I feel  truly blessed to be the recipient of the love that people had for Charlotte.” And having the Spring  Ball to raise money for Brain Tumour Research is very special to them, but Dafydd wants people 

to know that although the aim of the ball is to raise money to help fight this awful disease he  wants people to have fun. 

“It’s absolutely about having fun, enjoying a great night and honouring the spirit of Charlotte. We  have been to the Westbourne charity balls before and have always had a great time. I have some  really amazing memories of going to these events and I can’t wait for other people to make those  same memories. We want to create a party she’d enjoy.” Westbourne School’s Spring Ball takes place on Saturday 4th March at Cardiff’s City Hall. A spectacular black tie event featuring live auction, raffle, dining and dancing, the ball is open to the whole community to raise money for a fantastic cause. Tickets are on sale now via events@westbourneschool.com