Gethin Jones addresses ‘heartbreaking’ project about loss: ‘Not sure I’ll ever understand’ | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Morning Live presenter Gethin Jones, 43, has spoken out on the emotional moment he presented Rhian Mannings, from Cardiff, with a bespoke bench to thank her for her work in helping families cope with bereavement. Rhian suffered unbearable losses when her one-year-old son George died suddenly eight years ago.
Her devastated husband Paul then took his own life just a few days later.
Rhian’s tragic situation inspired her to create her own charity, 2 Wish Upon a Star, which offers support to thousands of families dealing with sudden loss each year.
Gethin worked with The National Lottery to unveil Rhian’s bench to her and her family at The Royal Glamorgan hospital in Pontyclun.
The poignant tribute, designed by BBC The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, has been placed outside the room where medical staff endeavoured to save Rhian’s late son George’s life.
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Opening up on the moment he met Rhian and unveiled her bench, Gethin admitted in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk that “her emotion was very much felt by me”.
The BBC star said of Rhian’s story: “Absolutely heartbreaking.
“I think what added to it emotionally was that the bench is literally outside the hospital room that George died in and for her to be recognised through that, I think her emotion was very much felt by me.
“And I walked away thinking, I’m not sure I’ll ever understand how to process that.”
Rhian is one of 13 community workers in the UK who have been recognised for their time and hard work in supporting some of the most vulnerable in communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharing further details about The National Lottery’s campaign, Gethin added: “It’s called The People’s Benches.
“They’ve covered 13,000 communities around the UK and I think Rhian really loved the design of it as well.
“It’s really simple, her name is on it, but it’s typical her, she didn’t want to make it a big deal about her, she just wanted everyone else recognised.
“So it was a really special day to witness it.”
He explained: “£36 million goes to good causes every week if you buy a National Lottery ticket and you can see how much that would make for the community.
“And what was lovely with a video like this was actually seeing it, rather than just hearing it.
“You don’t often see that money being paid out, but with videos like this, it just goes to show what a difference it makes.”