People are encouraged to come and take the plunge in Portishead Marina, Bristol and be rescued by a Newfoundland to raise funds for the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath.

This once in a lifetime opportunity will take place on Saturday 22 September and places cost just £30 – with a pledge to raise £100 for any ward or department at the RUH that’s close to your heart.

The event has been organised jointly by Newfound Friends for The Forever Friends Appeal.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“This is a fundraising event with a difference – we are so excited to working be with these life-saving dogs again as it was such a big hit with those who took the plunge last year. Sign up today and you will get the full experience of what it’s like to be rescued by a Newfoundland dog.

“They are powerful dogs, each weighing around 14 stone, and are an impressive sight in the water. After you’ve suited up, you’ll be taken out into the marina and be asked to jump in, but don’t worry, your furry rescuer won’t be far behind and will tow you back safely!

“Last year, almost £7,000 was raised for the RUH – an amazing total and as participants can choose which area of the hospital their sponsorship would support, we saw donations going towards our new builds such as the new Cancer Centre and Therapies Centre, as well as wards such as Critical Care, Cardiology including other departments in the hospital, which is fantastic.”

As well as teaming up with Newfound Friends in September, dog handler Ellie and her Newfoundland Tizz, made a recent visit to the hospital’s Children’s ward to see how fundraising can make a difference.  The young patients, parents and carers and staff loved meeting Tizz and many photos were taken – he was the star patient of the day.

Alice Done, Nurse on the Children’s ward said:

“It was lovely to have Tizz visit us on the ward – he was very well behaved and enjoyed all the fuss. I actually took part last year’s dog dive day as it was a great opportunity for me – I love dogs and as we could choose where our sponsorship money was donated, it felt personal to give to my own ward.

“We had a wonderful day in Portishead. The dogs are such gentle giants, I loved meeting them and their owners who clearly adore them and enjoy giving them a great day out while supporting charities at the same time. Rescuing people from water is what Newfoundland’s were born to do!”

Places are limited on this day and as they were oversubscribed last year, anyone interested should sign up on The Forever Friends Appeal website as soon as possible. For information about the event and to book your place click here