A BLACKWOOD-BASED confectionery manufacturer is one step closer to its £70,000 fundraising target for a children’s charity as its managing director gets ready to run the London Marathon.

Justin Thomas, who heads up Bon Bon Buddies, is currently in training for the 26-mile run in the UK’s capital in April – with all proceeds raised going towards Tŷ Hafan.

The team at Europe’s premier manufacturer of character and branded confectionery has been supporting Tŷ Hafan since 2013 and raised £47,600 to date through fundraisers and gifts in kind. Bon Bon Buddies now hopes that its latest fundraising initiative will help towards its target of £70,000 for the charity.

Tŷ Hafan provides care for life-limited children and young people, as well as support for their families across South Wales.

Justin Thomas, managing director at Bon Bon Buddies, said: “When it comes to fitness, I’ve never been much of a runner, and the training has been tough - I run four times a week, anything from four miles to 20, meaning on some days I can be going non-stop for up to three hours. But knowing how much great work Tŷ Hafan carries out, and how the money raised will help them, keeps me going.”

This isn’t the first fundraising feat for Mr Thomas, who took part in Tough Mudder in 2015 for the charity by completing a 12-mile obstacle course in Gloucestershire. Meanwhile, other members of staff at Bon Bon Buddies regularly raise money for Tŷ Hafan by organising bake sales, quizzes, fancy dress days as well as taking part in a Taff Trail cycle challenge, Tŷ Hafan’s colour run and the Welsh Three Peaks challenge.

“I’m honoured to be supporting the vital services that Tŷ Hafan provides to children and families across Wales each and every day,” Mr Thomas added. “The charity relies on donations to survive, which is why we are dedicated to helping it however and whenever we can, and we’re encouraging all to get behind us and contribute to this fantastic cause."

Natalie Whyatt, corporate partnership manager at Tŷ Hafan, added: “It costs us £11,787 to provide a day’s support for a child with a life-limiting illness, and their families. We strive to ensure every day is special for those we help, and the generosity shown by Bon Bon Buddies since we joined forces in 2013 has gone above and beyond, already helping pay for more than a day of care.

“We will all be cheering on Justin at the London Marathon and want to thank Bon Bon Buddies for everything it has done for us.”