During the celebrations of the NHS turning 70 on 5 July, a VIP guest made a special appearance at The Forever Friends Appeal’s Volunteer Party to thank those who have given up their free time to support the hospital’s charity.

Kris Marshall, known for playing loveable Nick Harper in the popular TV series My Family, who also starred in the film Love Actually, and DI Humphrey Goodman in Death in Paradise came and met 70 volunteers at a summer tea party held in a location in Bath.

Kris took the opportunity and talked about his experiences of being cared for by staff at the RUH, spoke about how grateful he is to the NHS and thanked the volunteers saying how delighted he was to be asked to the event on the day of the NHS 70th birthday.

During the event, Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising highlighted the important work volunteers do and how much they have raised for the Appeal. He said:

“I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work and commitment. We are very grateful for your support. Tonight, we celebrating some fantastic people who have raised substantial amounts for the Appeal.

“Our major Campaigns for the Cancer Centre and the new RNHRD & Therapies building are going well.  We also continue to raise money to help the hospital’s other specialist, but urgent, needs and we’re encouraging people to get behind (especially if they or their family have been treated in one of the departments) and support our new Special Appeals which are launching this week.  They will mark both the NHS Seventieth and the Appeal’s own 20th Year of Fundraising.

“These Special Appeals will help support important developments in our Facial Surgery & Orthodontics Unit, Breast Unit, Critical Care and our ‘Friendly Faces’ dementia volunteer project.”

Some of the highlights of the evening were recognising the staff and volunteers who run HUGs charity shop on Chelsea road who have raised over £100,000 in the last 5 years for the Cancer Centre, and the Bath Fundraising Group who recently presented the Appeal with a cheque for £10,000.

Individual volunteers were praised too, including Malcolm Pearce, aged 83 who has volunteered for the Appeal since it launched in 1999. Malcolm has helped volunteer at many of the Appeal’s fundraising events, taking part in bucket collections and the charity’s Walk of Life Event.

The evening finished on a high with celebratory applause for reaching the minimum fundraising target of £8.5 million for the Cancer Centre and the continuing fundraising efforts for this Campaign that will ensure the quality and facilities of the new Cancer Centre are as good as they can possibly be – and for a key milestone – the ‘topping out’ the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre which took place this week and for which the Appeal and it volunteers are raising £2m.

We are always grateful to people who can spare time to volunteer for the Appeal, for more information click here.

To view more photos taken at the event, please visit our Facebook page.