The ex-Wales international, who was recently appointed to the new-look Welsh Rugby Union Board, launched his JR12 testimonial year last autumn, choosing the charity to benefit having been closely involved with its work since 2016.
The money raised will go to the Tiny Lives Appeal, helping to fund life-saving incubators, ventilators and transport incubators for Wales’ largest neonatal intensive care unit.
The fundraising took place at a series of events. Roberts’s testimonial year kicked off at Principality Stadium last November with ‘Pitchside’, an event hosted by Gabby Logan on the eve of the Wales v New Zealand match. Ahead of the Wales v England game this February, he was joined by Simon Shaw, Ugo Monye and Shane Williams at ‘Two Tribes’, hosted by Gethin Jones. Completing the hat trick was ‘Performance and Cocktails’ at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The night was headlined by the Stereophonics in the band’s only live scheduled event this year.
Roberts, an ambassador of the Noah’s Ark Charity, said: “What an absolute pleasure it is to present this cheque for £75,000 to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity at the end of a wonderful JR12 testimonial year. I’d like to thank those who attended, our sponsors, partners and those who donated auction and raffle prizes. Special thanks to Hayley Parsons, the testimonial chairwoman and to Liz Williams of Engage Sport for organizing and running the events. Thanks as well to Andy Allen and the other JR12 committee members who’ve given their time in various ways.
“James Dean Bradfield and The Stereophonics contributed so brilliantly at our Six Nations and London events respectively. For them to give their time to support such a worthwhile cause makes me hugely grateful. They really were such special evenings, the memories from which will last a lifetime.
“Much hard work made the testimonial year possible and it makes me sincerely proud to present such a significant cheque to our special chosen charity. I seen first-hand how much of an important role the charity plays in supporting our nation’s only children’s hospital. Noah’s Ark really is such a vital charity and the money raised will make a real difference to families in our society.’
Roberts presented the cheque at the opening of the Noah’s Ark Charity Grotto at IKEA Cardiff. There to thank him was seven-year-old Annabelle, who first met Jamie as a baby exactly seven years ago while on the neonatal intensive care unit. It’s thanks to the unit and much of the life-saving equipment that Roberts’ testimonial will fund more of, that Annabelle is here today.
Lucy Jones, head of fundraising at the Noah’s Ark Charity, said: “We’re absolutely blown away by Jamie’s announcement today. We were lucky enough to attend the testimonial events and saw for ourselves the generosity of the guests and how incredible the nights were. But never in our wildest dreams did we think it would be this much! Thanks to this huge boost, we’re now very close to reaching our Tiny Lives Appeal target. That means that the neonatal intensive care unit, which cares for around 600 of Wales’ smallest and sickest babies each year, will soon have more of the vital equipment it needs.
“We’d like to give our most heartfelt thanks to Jamie and everyone involved in making the year such a resounding fundraising success. This money will now go on to save the lives of countless babies in Wales and there can be no greater legacy to Jamie’s testimonial year than that.”