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News

Run the Bath Half Marathon

The large, well known and very cuddly mascot for The Forever Friends Appeal, Big Ted, is looking for people from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire to put on their running shoes and join what is affectionately known by everyone as ‘Ted’s Team’ in the 2014 Bath Half Marathon, to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. This popular race, located in the historic city of Bath, will take place on Sunday 2nd March and the Appeal team are thrilled that local print and mail company, CFH Docmail, are sponsoring Ted’s Team in 2014.

Silver Bond places for The Forever Friends Appeal are now available and can be purchased for just a £35 initial donation, with a pledge to raise a further minimum sponsorship of £175 for The Forever Friends Appeal. Events and Community Officer for the Appeal, Jo Hones, comments: “If you fancy taking on the Bath Half challenge, then why don’t you join our team and help us raise as much as we possibly can to build an exceptional new Cancer Centre here at the RUH. Together we can make 2014 our biggest Bath Half team yet! As a member of Ted’s Team you will get a free team running vest, as well as lots of support and encouragement on the day itself, and during your fundraising and training.”

×If you wish to run as part of our team for another area of the hospital then please let us know. Our latest causes can be found here.

CFH Docmail is a leading provider of print and mail and IT solutions with over 30 years experience. They provide businesses with an all in one print, personalisation and mail delivery service for less than the cost of a second class stamp. Miss Hones continues: “We are just so thrilled to have CFH Docmail on board as our sponsors – Docmail does it for Ted’s Team!”

Dave Broadway, managing director of CFH Docmail commented “We are so proud to be working with Ted’s Team again this year with our team of runners in the Bath Half Marathon. As a local business to the Royal United Hospital, and an employer of 240 people at our print and mail site in Radstock, the work the charity does is essential for our community. Cancer affects so many people and has also sadly affected several of our staff and their families at CFH, making it even more reason for us to support this fantastic organisation.”

The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is currently over half way to achieving its aim of raising £8 million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Miss Hones continues: “The new Cancer Centre will transform the care of our patients and their families here at the RUH – making them feel safe, supported and special at what is a very difficult time. So we hope that people will choose to take on Bath Half in 2014 to help us make this new Centre a building that we can be proud of for many years to come.”

The Bath Half Marathon is not just a race for experienced runners and athletes, as people of all abilities compete every year. Runners often show the lighter side of this famous race with fancy dress costumes, and the enthusiastic cheering of spectators enhances the feel-good factor of taking part.

The Forever Friends Appeal are also encouraging people who have already secured their own general public place in the event to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. So for more information see our Bath Half Marathon page  or call the events team on 01225 825823.

If you would like to join Ted’s Team but have another department in the hospital that you would like to support, please also contact the events team for more information.

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131 Commando Engineers Present their Bath Half fundraising

The Bath Half Marathon is a challenge in itself but the Commando’s from Bath-based 131 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers wanted more of a challenge, and ran it in boots, carrying a set of webbing weighing over 21lb (equivalent to the average car tyre!).  The team completed the challenge in March 2013 and have successfully raised over £1,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal. The team is presenting their fundraising to Chairman of The Forever Friends Appeal, John Cullum, which will go towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

Chris Harvey, Troop Commander at 131, comments: “It has been a great privilege and delight for 131 Commando Engineers to support the RUH Forever Friends Appeal over the last two years through running in the Bath Half Marathon; we have now raised a total of over £3,000 for this great cause.  The Army Reserve is entering into a time significant change as the Government’s plans for Reserve Forces 2020 begin to take shape, and the future is looking very promising for us all.  131 Commando Engineers are currently recruiting, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to complete the Commando Course and earn the Green Beret and you’re up for the challenge; get in touch with us at

www.facebook.com/131Cdo or on 01225 427747.”

This is the second year running that the Squadron have supported the charity through the Bath Half Marathon.  Jo Hones, the Event and Community Officer comments: “We are so thrilled to have had such fantastic support from the 131 Commando Squadron for the past two years – it really is quite an undertaking to complete the 13.1 mile course with such a heavy weight on your back! The money raised this year will get us that step closer to building the wonderful new Cancer Centre.”

The current focus of The Forever Friends Appeal is the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.  The aim of which is to help build a new and pioneering Cancer Centre which balances clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.  The new centre will make patients feel safe, supported and special so that they can get through their treatment with the least amount of stress, and their families can feel that they are well supported as well.

Much of the existing RUH cancer services are located in inadequate, 70 year-old war time accommodation.  It has been the long-term aim to seek a solution and bring Cancer Services at the RUH all under one roof.  The new Cancer Centre will be a c66% / 33% partnership respectively between NHS and Charitable Funds.  The Appeal are aiming to raise a total of some £8million towards the new Centre.

The Bath Half 2014 applications are now open for anyone willing to take up the challenge, with or without 21 lb on their back! The event will be held on 2nd March 2014 and the Appeal welcomes anyone wishing to run in support of The Forever Friends Appeal.  Entries can be completed through https://www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/events/bath-half-marathon/.

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First Car Raffle Gets Underway

The Forever Friends Appeal are very excited to announce that they have for the very first time a BRAND New Car as the top prize in their annual Grand Draw which is helping to raise funds for their RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

The Grand Draw, launched this week will give the general public the chance to win an Economical Kia Picanto 5 door car just in time for Christmas! The vehicle will be practical, fun and extremely easy on the pocket to own and has been generously provided by Allen Kia Motors of Bath. In its previous years, the event has been well supported by patients, visitors and staff at the RUH, together with the loyal supporters of The Forever Friends Appeal’s and the general public, raising over £20,000 each year towards their projects.

The Appeal hopes that with the amazing top prize of a brand new car, and some great runner up prizes including a holiday and a flight in a small aircraft will hopefully inspire the public to get on board and purchase even more tickets, making it the most successful draw that they have ever ran!

Allen Kia Motors of Bath, which supplied the vehicle is also supporting the hospital’s charity by selling raffle tickets to their customers, and has even provided a loan car which has been branded out in bright pink graphics, with the slogan “Win Me!” with the aim of capturing the attention of the public to help promote the Grand Draw and the Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

Pete Underhill, Business Development Specialist from Allen Kia says: “We are pleased to be associated with The Forever Friends Charity who are working tirelessly for a cause which everyone can relate to in some form or another. If our help and assistance is able to play even just a small part in raising money then it would be well worth it. We wish them all success over the next few months with their Grand Draw”.

Jan Witt, Donor Care Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal says: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Allen Kia Motors kindly providing us with a star prize for our draw this year and we are confident that it will be well supported and a huge success! It is a fun and important way for us to seek the general public’s support and help transform the care of patients and their families affected by Cancer. The loan of a car will help us tremendously and it will be visiting a number of shows and attending events in the local area over the next month or so to help sell tickets during the lead up to the draw date Friday 20th December 2013.

If you wish to purchase tickets at £1.00 each or £5.00 for a book or happy to sell them on behalf of the charity to your friends, family or colleague please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or give the The Forever Friends Appeal a ring on 01225 825961.

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.

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Award winning Acappella group sing for the RUH

Sons of Pitches, is a national award winning Acappella group from Birmingham, who will be raising funds for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign, at their performance this Saturday 14th September, at The George at Backwell bar in Bristol.

Sons of Pitches group member, Joe Novelli, has chosen to support the Appeal because his family from Warminster are dedicated to supporting the Appeal and share their vision to transform cancer services for patients and their families. Joe’s Aunty; Nic Noble is the Appeal’s Vice-President and a committed volunteer who has been fundraising in memory of her much loved sister Vanessa Kyte. Vanessa sadly passed away at her home in Rudge near Frome, seven years after first being diagnosed with breast cancer, which soon developed into secondary lung cancer and brain tumours.

Now, six years on, Vanessa’s family and friends are still continuing with her passion and drive for fundraising, by doing everything they can to help The Forever Friends Appeal charity raise funds to build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the RUH.

The Sons of Pitches are an alternative and unique ‘new Acappella’ group based in Birmingham. In the last 6 months they have been busy performing around the world. They are pleased to have won 5 awards at The Voice Festival UK, performed on the stage of New York City’s Town Hall in the finals of the International Acappella Championships and featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Everyone is invited to The George at Backwell bar in Bristol this Saturday 14th for a good night of electro, dubstep, funk, comedy and possibly even ‘rapappella’. The concert starts at 7.30pm and is free entry.

To read more about this exciting group, please visit: www.thesonsofpitches.co.uk

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Ride of Support

All motor-heads of B&NES, Wiltshire & Somerset are invited on the Ride of Support – a Motorbike Rally on 21st September 2013.

This is a ride to show support to all those affected by cancer and is supporting the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, raising the next £3 million towards an exceptional pioneering Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The ride takes you across the three counties within the RUH catchment area; BANES, Somerset and Wiltshire, stopping at 3 check points along the way. It isn’t a race, as riders can complete the route at their own pace, as long as they reach the last checkpoint by 5.30pm.

Event organiser and keen motorist Mark Rowell, who lives in Corsham, wants all bikers from 3 counties to come together for a great cause, following the diagnosis of his wife Amanda in March 2012.

“It’s almost a year since Amanda and I were both sat in the consulting room of the Royal United Hospital Bath being told the results of the biopsy taken earlier that day. The news struck both of us very deep and that wasn’t the end, we still had to wait for the results of a CT scan to come back, this would show if cancer had spread to other parts of the body, The scan came back clear, what a huge relief that was, off we both went, leaving via a back door as we couldn’t face walking through the waiting room, the journey had begun.

Within days, appointments at the RUH Bath started arriving in the post. Everything moved very fast, more scans, multiple chemotherapy, medication, surgery, multiple radiotherapy more surgery. A great deal has taken place in the last twelve months.

We are so grateful for the remarkable treatment that was available for Amanda, not forgetting the support you can count on from the Macmillan nurses (Kate Hope), we would really like to give something back.

My decision to support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign happened when other cancer patients we met were going through the same as we were and the conversations we had together were very comforting. I was so pleased to hear about the plans for the new Cancer Centre. It is exciting to think the build will provide the right kind of environment to help patients cope with cancer. A new patient support centre will help with the emotional impact that plays such an important part in the quality of life, not only for the patient but for their friends and family around them. The new Cancer Centre will certainly change how patients feel when going for treatment.”

This year’s ride is sponsored by Quadrant (SW) in Paulton, who are very pleased to be supporting all riders and those affected by cancer:

Directors, Adrian & Heather Davidge says: “Having lost a very dear member of our family to cancer in the last year and after learning what Amanda had gone through with her journey with the amazing support of not only her Husband and Son but also from the Royal United Hospital, we felt very strongly that we would like to help in a small way by sponsoring this year’s Ride of Support event to be held in September…. All at Quadrant (SW) Ltd send their warmest best wishes for a successful fundraising event.”

The Forever Friends Appeal are currently raising a further £3 million towards a much-needed new pioneering Cancer Centre at the RUH. Sir James Dyson has donated £4 million towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Sir James & Lady Deidre Dyson share the vision of the RUH doctors and nurses in wanting to create a truly therapeutic and healing environment for RUH patients suffering from cancer. By donating £4m, Sir Dyson wanted to help secure the Appeal’s minimum target so that they could extend their fundraising ambitions and the vision for the building.

The Dysons have therefore created a situation where every pound given or raised, from here on, is directly empowering the clinicians to be even more imaginative, inspired and innovative in their vision for the design of the building, its therapeutic environment and its day to day operation.

Together with the superb Dyson support, it is therefore the public and their continuing fundraising efforts that will now help this pioneering building to be truly exceptional and vastly improve cancer care in this region – in the same way as the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care has already achieved for premature babies and their families.

Registration fee for the Ride of Support is only £10 and all riders or non-riders are encouraged to kindly donate on the justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/Ride-Of-Support

Please visit the website on www.rideofsupport.org.uk

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