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News

Burns Night raffle rasies £910

Huge thanks goes to Searcys and everyone who attended the Burn’s Night Supper at Bath Pump Rooms last Friday night.  The Forever Friends Appeal were absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as the beneficiary charity for the evening’s raffle, which raised an incredible £910 to go towards the Campaign for a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH.

A wonderful evening was had by all who attended, and was kicked off with a sparkling drinks reception around the magical torch-lit Roman Baths, along with music by a Scottish piper.  Guests then headed up to the Pump Rooms Restaurant to enjoy a traditional Burn’s Night supper, Burns’ poetry readings by Leonard Pearcey, and a live band with ceilidh dancing.

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L&F Jones commit to supporting RUH in 2015

The Forever Friends Appeal charity at the Royal United Hospital in Bath is thrilled to have been chosen as L & F Jones’s charity of the year in 2015.  The Midsomer Norton based food services operation, which employs over 280 staff, operates within the heart of the community which they serve.

Every year L & F Jones choose a different charity to support, having supported the British Heart Foundation in 2014.  The company has specifically chosen for their fundraising throughout 2015 to go towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – raising £8.5million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre for cancer patients and their families.  Each year the RUH cares for 2,200 new patients with cancer from the hospital’s extensive catchment area.  The clinical care is amongst the best in the UK, but the cancer unit facilities are outdated and uncomfortable, and do not provide patients with the positive environment necessary to support the healing process.  The hospital’s vision is to build a Cancer Centre which will balance clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.

Colleagues from L & F Jones have an exciting year of fundraising ahead.  The company will be holding their annual golf day in July, Gala Dinner in November and are working on plans for other fundraising activities throughout the year.  Forever Friends Appeal collection tins have also been distributed to all L & F Jones convenience stores across the region.

Comment from L & F Jones Chairman Martin Jones: “We are delighted to have chosen The Forever Friends Appeal as our 2015 charity of the year.  Having visited the current Cancer Unit, you cannot fail to be impressed by the skill, commitment and dedication of people who work there. They are making an enormous difference to the lives of those individuals living with cancer in our area as well as their families and friends.  Our staff, customers and suppliers always get behind our fundraising events and this year I know will be no exception.”

Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Common, comments:  “The Forever Friends Appeal are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by L & F Jones as their 2015 Charity of the Year.  We are just so pleased to have the dedicated support of the L & F Jones team in helping us to transform cancer services for our patients and their families here at the RUH.  This is a great bit of news to start 2015 and we look forward to getting to know the L & F Jones team throughout the year ahead.”

If you would like to support The Forever Friends Appeal through your company, please visit our corporate pages

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Bath Fruit & Veg owner goes bananas for Bath Half

Legendary Bath businessman, Jimmy Deane, who can normally be found selling apples and pears at his fruit and veg stall in Southgate, is soon to take a well-deserved day off to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon 2015 to raise much needed funds for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

Jimmy Deane’s Fruit, Veg & Salad is a family run independent greengrocers which has been trading for 45 years and started operating in Bath in 2001 at their busy street trading pitch in Southgate. Their aim is to provide value for money for their customers by supplying quality fresh produce every day.

Jimmy has signed up to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon with supportive fiancée Charlene Ollerenshaw, who also works at the family business. Charlene says: “Jimmy and I are keen runners in our spare time so participating locally in the Bath Half seemed the perfect option. Jimmy has already completed some half marathons however this is my first so it will be a big challenge for me!” Charlene further explains: “The fact that we can support a local charity is what will keep us motivated in our run. When we heard about The Forever Friends Appeal and their efforts to build a brand new Cancer Centre in our area, I knew this would be the charity for us as we both have family and close friends affected by cancer”

Jimmy is hoping to complete the race in 1 hour 25 minutes but is not making it easy for himself, having chosen to run the entire 13.1 miles dressed in a Bananaman costume! Charlene comments: “The aim is to get plenty of sponsorship so that Jimmy will wear his Bananaman costume which will promote our greengrocer business and generally have a bit of a laugh! Being a local business in Bath, we’re hoping to drum up plenty of support from our customers and staff!”

The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is currently over half way to achieving its aim of raising £8.5 million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the RoyalUnitedHospital in Bath. Jimmy Deane’s Fruit & Veg will further support The Forever Friends Appeal by providing complimentary bananas for their runners to enjoy after the race.

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch comments:  “The Appeal are incredibly grateful to Jimmy and Charlene for their support with providing free fruit for our runners on race day and we wish them the very best of luck in the race! We are thrilled that Jimmy has chosen to run as Bananaman, as the fact that he is also kindly donating bananas to our cause is very fitting! The Vitality Bath Half Marathon is a truly special event with an exceptionally scenic route for participants. The Appeal still has limited guaranteed places available in the race so please contact us ASAP if you are interested!”

Silver Bond places for The Forever Friends Appeal are available until Thursday 22nd January and can be purchased on the Appeal’s website for just £35, with a pledge to raise a further minimum sponsorship of £175 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign or a ward or department close to your heart.  But please be quick, as the entry deadline is Thursday 22nd January.  This popular race, located in the historic city of Bath, will take place on Sunday 1st March 2015.

To sponsor Jimmy and Charlene, please visit their fundraising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jimmysfruitloops

If you would like to join Jimmy and Charlene and run the 2015 Vitality Bath Half Marathon to raise funds towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital (or another department in the hospital of your choice) please visit our Bath Half Marathon page.

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Bath Mum battles ill health to take on Indian Adventure

Bath mum Debbie Saffin, who over the years has suffered on-going ill health, is taking on a challenge of a life time. In October 2015 Debbie will put on her walking boots to hike the Himalayas and discover the spiritual home of the Dalai Lama as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s India trekking team. By taking on this incredibly physical challenge, Debbie will be  stepping firmly outside her comfort zone. She will be fundraising for the Royal United Hospital’s Cancer Care Campaign to say thank you for caring for her over a number of years.

Having spent much time as a patient at the RUH, she explains: “I am also doing this trek to say a huge thank you to the RUH for their support over many years, which has enabled me to conquer my ill health instead of it conquering me. They have not just saved my life from a close to death experience, but continue to help me. They have been extremely caring, supportive and understanding, and always willing to answer any questions and to give advice. I couldn’t have hoped for a better team of people to be there not just for me, but also my family. I have also lost a loved one from cancer and therefore appreciate how much this Centre will benefit our community. I can’t think of a better way to say thank you than to help raise funds for this new Centre. I know I will find this challenge extremely difficult, but none the less I remain determined to complete this trek for the benefit of others.”

The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is currently over half way to achieving its aim of raising £8.5 million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

 

Debbie continues: “I currently suffer from a severe skin condition that affects my feet, which can cause extreme pain when walking. I have used holistic therapies not just to gain physical, but mental strength through this extremely tough journey. I practice a meditation technique ‘Mindfulness’ which is also practiced by the Tibetan people of the Dalai Lama. At first I thought that this challenge was unachievable and totally out of the question, but with the support of the RUH, friends and family, I truly believe I can do this and if I can surely anyone can.”

Departing in October 2015, The Forever Friends Appeal’s India Dalai Lama challenge, in association with Global Adventure Challenges, is to trek for 67km over five days through this fascinating region of North India at the heart of the world’s highest mountain range. Explore the Kingdom of Gaddi – a semi nomadic race who wander the high passes with their cattle – passing Hindu settlements and Buddhist Monasteries with spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains. This incredible challenge will end with time to explore the incomparable Taj Mahal, the greatest monument to love ever built!

If you would like to join Debbie and travel to Northern India to raise funds towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital (or another department in the hospital of your choice) The Forever Friends Appeal will be holding an ‘India Experience Evening’ at the RUH on Wednesday 28th January 2015 to learn more about the trek and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. If you’re interested, or would like more information visit our India Trek page.

Left to right: Debbie Saffin, Jill and Malcolm Pearce (volunteers at The Forever Friends Appeal) at The Forever Friends Appeal’s Summer Volunteer Party.

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M J Church donate £12,000 for Cancer Care

To kick 2015 off with a bang, M J Church are donating £12,000 to The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.  Based on the A420 in Marshfield, M J Church have supported the charity for many years, and are particularly passionate about raising funds towards the Campaign to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

M J Church is one of the regions largest Civil Engineering, Earthworks and Waste Management Contractors in the South West of England. The company first supported the charity in the year 2000, when staff members took their teddy bears out for the day to help celebrate the Appeal’s annual fundraising day, Ted’s Big Day Out.  Since 2000, M J Church have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Appeal, through a variety of different means, including a recent Santa’s grotto event and the office’s regular coffee pot donations.

The company’s particular passion for the Cancer Care Campaign is following the diagnosis of their friend and colleague, Mark Hucklebridge with cancer in 2010.  Director of M J Church, Paula Church, comments:  “Our dedicated team at M J Church are all very passionate about supporting our local hospital – and as a local company we are very keen to get behind a cause that is close to the hearts of so many people.  Far too many of us have loved ones that are affected by cancer, so here at M J Church we want to help towards this fundraising to build a world class Cancer Centre at the RUH which will provide a truly therapeutic environment for patients and their families.”

The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre for cancer patients and their families.  Each year the RUH cares for 2,200 new patients with cancer from the hospital’s extensive catchment area.  The clinical care is amongst the best in the UK, but the cancer unit facilities are outdated and uncomfortable, and do not provide patients with the positive environment necessary to support the healing process.  The hospital’s vision is to build a Cancer Centre which will balance clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment.

Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Common, comments:  “Raising £8.5million is a big target – but with the incredible support we receive from our donors, including companies like M J Church, we are getting closer to our goal.  The Appeal would like to say a heartfelt thank you to M J Church for their passion and enthusiasm for supporting the Appeal – £12k is a truly wonderful donation.  Cancer is a cause that is close to the hearts of so many people, so together we will be able to build this new Centre which will transform care for our patients and their families at the RUH.”

If you would like to support The Forever Friends Appeal through your company, visit or corporate page.

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Times running out to enter the Bath Half marathon

Entries for Bath Half Marathon charity places will close later in the month. Don’t delay and sign up today and help make a real difference at the Royal United Hospital, Bath.

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