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A Cold Dip for Cancer Campaign

Over the Christmas period, Mother Caroline Michie and her 11 year old son, Callum, from Melksham, took a cold dip in Tenby Sea to help raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

Many people spend Boxing Day by the cosy fire, eating left-over turkey sandwiches. For Caroline and Callum, they wanted to do quite the opposite. Along with 600 other good sports, they took the plunge for charity.

Caroline and Callum are supporting Kingswood Prep School’s challenge to raise £10,000 in 2013 for The Forever Friends Appeal charity, as Callum has been a pupil at Kingswood since the age of 3.  All their funds raised will go towards the Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign – raising £5 million to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the RUH. Caroline’s mother has also recently been diagnosed with cancer and so this is an important cause, close to their hearts.

The Cancer Care Campaign will see The Forever Friends Appeal, working in partnership with the NHS, to bring all cancer services at the hospital under ‘one roof’. This large capital project over the next 4 years, will be taking the same successful holistic approach, as with NICU, which will dramatically improve the patient ‘journey’ and experience, as well as providing a state of the art Cancer Care facility that is truly fit for purpose.

Caroline comments: “The atmosphere was amazing!  Both family and friends were there to support us, but it was extremely wet and cold and that was before we had even got in! We are thrilled with the amount we raised – thanks to everyone who supported us! I am now looking forward to Kingswood Prep’s other challenges this year- I will be joining parents and staff on the Scottish 7-leg bike challenge.”

As part of Kingswood Prep School’s £10,000 challenge, the school is organising a sponsored bike ride from Bath’s RUH to Caithneff Scotland – 7 days cycling, over 700 miles – setting off on Sunday 21st July 2013. A number of enthusiastic parents are extending the challenge, starting from Land’s End, finishing in John O’Groats.

One of those involved in the school charity committee set up especially for this challenge and parent who has 4 children at the school, Catherine Biggs, comments: “Our aim is simply to raise as much money as we can! This is a cause that is very important to us.  It’s going to be a huge challenge but I’m so glad we are all doing it together. People are doing different legs of the full miles, so anyone interested can join us at any time on the road. We are really looking forward to it.”

Several parents from the school are also running the Bath Half Marathon for The Forever Friends Appeal on Sunday 3rd March. If you would like to join the Forever Friends with cheering them on please call 01225 825823 to join the cheering crowd.

Community Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, Zoe Tainton comments:  “We are so thrilled that Kingswood Prep School have chosen to dedicate such enthusiasm to their fundraising for the Cancer Care Campaign in 2013.  They have some exciting plans and we look forward to hearing all about their fundraising throughout the year.  We are so grateful for their support and we want to say a massive well done to Caroline and Callum for taking on such a brave challenge on Boxing Day!”

To sign up to the challenge or sponsor the Kingswood team please contact 01225 310468.

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Construction dinner raises £3,700 for Cancer Care Campaign

Kier and the Great Western branch of the Forum for the Built Environment (FBE) have given The Forever Friends Appeal a boost in the form of a cheque for £3,700.

The Appeal has helped secure over £10m to provide state-of-the-art equipment and facilities at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath and Kier Construction is currently on site building the new pathology laboratory block.

The money was raised at the Appeal’s prestigious annual Brunel Dinner where guests swapped their hard hats for dinner suits and enjoyed an evening of merriment knowing that their fundraising would benefit a cause close to their hearts. The donation will go towards the Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign which aims to bring a pioneering new £20m cancer centre to the RUH.

Kier Construction director and current chairman of the FBE Great Western branch, Richard Davis, commented: “I am thrilled with the amount raised from a truly enjoyable evening and would like to thank everyone who came along and made the event a great success and for us to be able to support The Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign.”

Corporate officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Kate Bruhl, added: “Cancer affects one in three people during their lives, therefore almost everyone knows someone who has experienced this disease. So it is important that we help the RUH in their quest for a new cancer centre to treat the 2,000 or so people newly diagnosed with cancer each year in this area alone. We are truly grateful to FBE for supporting this truly worthwhile campaign.”

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Deadline for Bath Half entries Wednesday 23rd January!

Hurry The Forever Friends Appeal charity places for the Bath Half Marathon deadline is 23rd January.

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Walk of Life registration is now open

Visit our Walk page for all the information

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Charity places filling up fast for the Bath Half

With the Bath Half Marathon fast approaching on Sunday 3rd March, some charities still have places available – but they are filling up fast, so everyone is being encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. One charity still with places is the chosen Bath Half Marathon Featured Appeal, The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Silver Bond places are allocated on a first come first serve basis and the charity is encouraging people to sign up and join ‘Ted’s Team’ to help raise funds towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Hones, comments:  “Now is the time to sign up and take on the Bath Half Marathon challenge.  It will soon be too late, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!  This year our focus is to raise funds towards the new Cancer building – a Centre which will make an immense difference to our cancer services and greatly improve the patient experience.    If you have been touched by cancer, or simply want to raise funds for a cause that is close to the hearts of so many local people, please get in touch!”.

Click here to download a registration form

The Forever Friends Appeal launched phase two of the Cancer Care Campaign back in May – raising over £5m over the next 4 years towards the cost of building a £20.5m pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH, and which is due to be completed by around 2017.  The new Cancer Centre will be a joint NHS / Charitably funded project with the parties contributing 75 / 25 % respectively.  Tim Hobbs, head of The Forever Friends Team says:  “The need for a new Cancer Centre has been recognised as a key priority by the RUH and it will be the biggest fundraising campaign ever undertaken at the hospital”.

The RUH treats over 2000 new cancer patients every year. Every day the disease indiscriminately alters people’s lives.  Furthermore, the incidence of cancer is increasing and it is estimated that by 2025 many people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes.  Whilst the level of clinical skills offered by the medical team at RUH are amongst the best in the UK, the buildings for much of the existing cancer services date back to the early 1940’s when they were hurriedly constructed for WW11 service personnel.

The RUH is planning to build a pioneering Cancer Centre which builds on the holistic approach taken with the Dyson Centre for neonatal Care and balances the clinical expertise of the hospital with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.  The aim is to create a Cancer Centre where the four strands of ‘Clinical Excellence’, a ‘Therapeutic Environment’, a ‘Survivorship model of care’ and proactive ‘Research’ are welded together to powerful effect, creating a highly beneficial healing environment for patients and their families which will transform the care of cancer patients and their families, and provide a model of a care that can be replicated elsewhere by similar hospitals.

To help raise the profile of Ted’s Team on Bath Half Marathon day, runners are being encouraged to decorate themselves with teddy bear face paints, wear teddy bear ears or even dust off their teddies and carry them with them around the 13.1 mile course!  Miss Hones continues:  “In past years, many of our runners have run the Bath Half whilst wearing home-made teddy bear ears or full on teddy bear face paints – I was even one of them!  It helps show everyone you are a member of Ted’s Team – and you get even more shouts of encouragement along the way from the wonderful Bath supporters.  It might even help you raise even more sponsorship!  We are now working on the second million of the fundraising Campaign, so we welcome all the support we can get from runners.”

People who are keen to sign up with a Forever Friends Appeal Silver Bond place in the Bath Half are asked to pay an initial silver bond donation of £35 and pledge to raise a further minimum sponsorship of £175 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

To sign up with your Ted’s Team place today, call the events team on 01225 825823, or visit https://www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/events/bath-half-marathon/. If you already have your own general public place in the event but would like to fundraise for the Appeal, please call Jo on 01225 825823 for your Bath Half fundraising pack.

For more information on the Bath Half Marathon, visit the website www.bathhalf.co.uk.

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Stars support RUH Cancer Care Campaign

The Forever Friends Appeal charity are thrilled by the number of local and national celebrities who have chosen to show their support for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, since its launch back in the summer of 2011.

From John Cleese and Nigel Havers to Kara Tointon and Linda Robson, over 40 well known faces have either visited the hospital or been pictured showing their support for this emotive Campaign. Head of Fundraising for the Appeal, Tim Hobbs comments:  “We are just enormously grateful to all these well-known faces for taking the time to visit the RUH or lending a hand to support the Campaign in some other way, whilst they are in Bath.  We know they are all busy and are therefore delighted when they feel able to respond to a cause that is so close to the hearts of so many.  Their backing provides us with the opportunity to raise the profile of the RUH Cancer Care Campaign”

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Phase one of the RUH Cancer Care Campaign was completed earlier this year, and involved raising £650,000 for a state-of-the-art Gamma-CT Scanner for the hospital.  This equipment has been purchased, installed and is now fully operational in the new Richard Coles Suite of the hospital.

Phase two of the Campaign is now well underway and the Appeal are raising £5 million, over the next four years, towards building a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.  Celebrity support will be continuing for the Appeal in 2013, with a very well know actress coming on board in February to help launch the exciting new ‘Be a Brick / Buy a Brick’ initiative.  This scheme will give individuals and organisations the opportunity to purchase virtual bricks to help build the new Cancer Centre.

Over the past months, momentum for the fundraising has been growing across Bath, North East Somerset and Wiltshire, with hundreds of people planning to help fundraise in 2013 towards the target.  Kingswood Preparatory School in Bath have a year of fundraising planned, including a cycle ride from Bath to Scotland, and the Rotary Club of Chippenham are organising a Golf Day in April.  These are just a few of the many different fundraising activities set to take place in 2013.

The 2013 Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd March will see hundreds of runners pound the streets to help raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – official race Featured Appeal.  The charity still has Silver Bond places available, so if you are keen to sign up and run to help build a new Cancer Centre, please contact the Appeal.

Appeal staff are busy planning their main events for 2013, with the following diary dates booked in:

  • Walk of Life – Saturday 18th May 2013:  21 mile walk along the Kennet and Avon canal
  • Movie by Moonlight – Saturday 31st August:  Royal Victoria Park, Bath
  • Ted’s Big Day Out – Friday 18th October:  Everywhere


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New Turtle Tots Swim Classes starting in Bath and Paulton!

Mums-to-be and new mums and babies will soon be able to sign up to new Turtle Tots classes at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, and Paulton Pool in Paulton, run by local mum, Karen Pike.

Turtle Tots is a new and exciting swimming programme. It begins with aqua-natal yoga classes for pregnant mums, and continues after birth with specialist swimming classes for babies, and then toddlers.

The aqua-natal yoga classes have been developed to provide mums-to-be with an enjoyable and effective way exercising gently within the controlled and supportive environment of water. Then, the Turtle Tots baby and toddler programme teaches parents to swim with their baby above and below the water, and teaches water confidence and key lifesaving skills in a fun and enjoyable with lots of nursery rhymes and singing!

And not only do the classes benefit the babies and toddlers! The programme has been written in conjunction with personal trainers, so every movement mum makes in the water helps their post-natal fitness – and every class can burn 250 calories!!

Chew Valley based Karen has recently completed STA, aqua yoga, and comprehensive Turtle Tots training, enabling her to run her Turtle Tots business.

Karen commented: “I’m really excited to be launching my Turtle Tots business in Bath. I live in North East Somerset with my husband and two lovely children, Alfie and Olivia. From an early age I’ve loved swimming and being in the water, and since having my children I’ve realised how important it is to introduce babies and young children to the water as early as possible.

The pools I will be teaching at are really warm so it’s perfect for babies; and teaching babies and toddlers to swim is not only fun, but incredibly rewarding because I’m teaching them an important life skill.”

Not only does the Turtle Tots programme focus on teaching babies and young children to swim, it also promotes pre-natal and post-natal fitness and provides an excellent toning workout for mums. Of course the programme is open to dads as well, who are more than welcome go along.

A percentage of every class cost is donated to the Forever Friends Appeal at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.  The funds will go directly towards the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care.

Classes begin in January. People interested are welcome to go along to a free taster session at the Royal United Hospital on Saturday 12th January 2013 between 1pm – 3pm. After that, the term is 9 weeks long, costing £99 – that’s just £11 per lesson and finishes on Saturday 23rd March 2013 (excludes 16th February 2013 – half term).  Turtle Tots will also be at Paulton Pool on Fridays.

For more information call Karen on 07941 400740, email Karen.pike@turtletots.com or visit www.turtletots.com

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