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News

Join our latest fundraising group in Larkhall Bath

Fancy meeting new people and making a real difference at the RUH?
The Forever Friends Appeal is very excited to announce the launch of our new Bath Larkhall RUH Fundraising Group. Everyone is welcome, so come and join us for coffee and cake at New Oriel Hall, Larkhall, on 18th April at 10am to hear all about our exciting plans! For more information give us a call on 01225 825825.

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Indian adventure to celebrate 15 years cancer free

Lindsey Hobbs, 46 years of age from Bradford on Avon, and her family are no strangers to Hospitals and have had more than their fair share of brushes with cancer. This cruel disease has affected Lindsey’s own health, her dads, her husbands and sadly took her mum five years ago. However 2015 is her year. This October Lindsey will be celebrating her 15th year being cancer free by putting on her walking boots and challenging herself to hike the Himalayas as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s India trekking team. She will be raising funds for the Royal United Hospital’s Cancer Care Campaign, to say thank you to the NHS and RUH for the care received by her family over the years.

Lindsey describes her family’s journey so far: “My family are pretty well known for our experiences with cancer over the years, with many ups and downs and every other emotion in between. I myself have had Hodgkins Lymphoma twice and spent a long time in and out of hospital from 1996 to 2000. I was successfully treated with a Stem Cell Transplant in late 1999 followed up by a spell of radiotherapy. I am so pleased to say that this is my 15th year of remission and cure; though this has not been without some lasting side effects from so much heavy duty chemo and radiotherapy – which will no doubt make my trek even more challenging!

My dearest Dad (Jim to those who know him, or Lyall to my Scottish half of the family) has also undergone treatment for cancer and is thankfully still with us today, sharing in my excitement for India.

In a cruel twist of fate, five years ago, the family lost my lovely mum Enid to bowel cancer. Losing mum was devastating for everyone, especially my Dad as they had shared over fifty years together and raised five children including myself, my three fabulous brothers and my equally fab sister.

If that wasn’t enough, in 2012 we we’re dealt another blow. My lovely husband, also had cancer. He was looked after by the most amazing staff at the RUH, where he underwent major surgery and chemotherapy. They were so caring, supportive and understanding as he faced his own fight. Nearly three years on and I am so happy that he is doing great –another precious family success story. After nearly 21 years together I still love him to bits. He is my world!”

Lindsey continues: “As cancer has touched my family in so many ways, I can think of no better way to say thank you than to help raise funds for a new Cancer Centre at the Hospital in Bath. I have so much to celebrate including my dad and my husband’s health as well as being 15 years cancer free; all as a result of all the wonderful care we have received. For my own milestone I wanted to do something physically challenging, so when the opportunity to trek through the foothills of the Himalaya’s rose I jumped at the chance! I am fully funding the trip myself so every penny and pound I raise will go directly to the build of this new state of the art Centre at the RUH. It is such an important cause to me as this new Centre will help the lives of so many local families, like my own. The trek is going to be such momentous occasion and I can’t wait to see what India has in store for me!”

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. Trekkers will have the unique opportunity to explore the Kingdom of Gaddi (a semi nomadic race who wander the high passes with their cattle) passing through traditional Hindu settlements, Buddhist Monasteries, pine forests and even a glacier 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!

To support Lindsay’s trek and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign please visit her online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Lindsey-Hobbs.

If you would like to join Lindsay 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) please get in touch with Events Fundraiser, Laura on 01225 821535 / laurapearce1@nhs.net or visit our India Trek page for more information. Places for the trek will be closing on Thursday 30th April so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

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Hamster race night in aid of the RUH

On Friday 10th April at 7pm, the Midsomer Norton & Radstock RUH Fundraising Group are organising a Hamster Race Night at Welton Rovers Football Club. Lucky guests will be able to bet on a series of hamster races, where seven toy hamsters will battle it out through a challenging obstacle course to be crowned victorious.

There is also the opportunity for individuals to ‘own’ one of the hamsters for £10. If your hamster wins you will win a bottle of wine or chocolate Easter egg. Your winning hamster will also be entered into the Grand Final, where they will compete to be crowned overall Champion. As if this honour were not enough, the owner of this Champion hamster will also win the £70 jackpot!

The Hamster Race Night promises to be a hilarious evening for the whole family. The Group urge people to come along for an evening less ordinary and help to raise funds for an amazing local cause at the same time.

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Mead Nursery Charity Open Day

The Mead Nursery in Brokerswood are hosting their annual Charity Open Day, and The Forever Friends Appeal are so pleased to have been selected as this year’s beneficiary charity!

From 12noon to 5pm on Sunday 26th April, there will be lots of lovely plants for sale, enticing guest stalls, a garden themed tombola, as well as teas and scrummy homemade cakes! So do make sure you pop along with your friends and family to enjoy an afternoon of fun and fundraising to help build a new Cancer Centre for the RUH.

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Walkers invited to join RUH Walk of Life

Individuals and businesses across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire, are being encouraged to enter the 2015 Walk of Life.  Individuals are being invited to enter the event with their friends and family, whilst local businesses are being encouraged to enter teams in the Corporate Challenge.  Taking place on Saturday 16th May, the Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction, is an annual event organised by The Forever Friends Appeal charity.  The event challenges people to walk 9,12 or 21 miles along the Kennet and Avon canal between Devizes and Bath to raise funds for Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

Over 100 people have already signed up to take part in this year’s event, some to celebrate the memory of lost loved ones, others to fundraise in support of friends or family members who are being treated at the RUH. Many are taking on the full 21 mile challenge, whilst others are choosing to walk 12 miles in the morning or 9 miles in the afternoon.  The Walk sets off from Devizes Wharf, heads along the Kennet and Avon canal through Bradford-On-Avon and finishes just off the canal pathway in Sydney Gardens, Bath.

Whether you are taking part in the event on your own, or if you sign up to the join the Corporate Challenge with your colleagues, entrants can take part in any section of the Walk of Life (9, 12 or 21 miles) and registration costs £20.00 per person to enter.  Businesses are being invited to enter teams of colleagues, clients and suppliers in this unique team building event, and there is no limit to the number of entrants in each team.

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Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch comments:  “We are so excited about this year’s Walk of Life, which is set to be the biggest and best yet! The event really is special, every year bringing together friends and family to raise funds for a brilliant cause whilst taking on a challenge which is fortunate enough to run alongside the beautiful Kennet & Avon canal.   Completing the Corporate Challenge as a team gives you an opportunity to enjoy a fun day out of the office, have time for team bonding, experience an environment where companies can compete against each other in a positive and friendly way and be involved with supporting a cause that is close to the hearts of so many people!”

2015 will be the second year that construction company, Kier, has sponsored this popular annual event and will be entering a Kier team in the Walk of Life Corporate Challenge. Kier Construction Operations Director, Dave Snell comments: “We agreed to sponsor last year’s walk knowing it was an excellent event supporting a really good cause.  All our staff enjoyed taking part in the Corporate Challenge and I know that we will be even better represented this year.  We have given our management trainees the almost impossible task of working with the organisers to make a brilliant event run even more smoothly.  I will be monitoring their performance over 21 miles!”

This is the eighth annual Walk of Life event, which was created in 2008 in memory of Vanessa Kyte – a remarkably inspirational mum, daughter, sister, wife and friend who passed away from cancer in 2007. One in two people will be affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre.  This Cancer Centre will be a state of the art building, which will transform care for patients and their families at the RUH.  Walkers can choose for their fundraising to go towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, or another ward or department of their choice in the hospital.

To sign up for the 2015 Walk of Life, visit our Walk of Life page

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Join the Rotaries of Frome and Frome Selwood ‘Grand Charity Race Night’

Two Rotary Clubs are getting together later this month to raise money for The Forever Friends appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

The Rotary Clubs of Frome and Frome Selwood, along with help from the The Forever Friends Appeal team, are organising a Grand Race Night on Saturday 28th  March, to be held at 7.00 pm in the Standerwick Suite at Frome Market.

Tickets are priced at £10.00 each to include a hot supper; there will be a cash bar and opportunities to buy your own horse and have a flutter on the Tote whilst raising money for this most worthwhile cause.

A spokesman for the two Clubs said that “with 6 sponsored races, each with 8 runners, it will be a great fun evening. Many have been touched with the trauma and loss of loved-ones because of cancer and raising money towards the provision of excellent new facilities cannot be a more worthy cause”

Tickets can be purchased from Dot Cretney, tel. 01373 463904 Or Mike Hewish 01373 825268 or by e-mail michael.hewish@tiscali.co.uk

This is set to be a fantastic evening so come along and help to support The Forever Friends Appeal and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

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Secretary of State for Health praises staff at Bath RUH

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt praised staff at Bath RUH for their hard work during a visit on Thursday.

Mr Hunt was taken round the hospital by James Scott, chief executive of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

As well as meeting staff volunteers and patients on the RUH wards, he visited the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care and the new Combe Ward- a world leading dementia friendly ward.

At the Oncology outpatients centre, Mr Hunt heard about plans for a new state of the art cancer centre. Fundraising for the centre is still taking place.

He said: “Across the South West we are working hard to ensure that our NHS delivers quality patient care and outcomes.

“I would like to congratulate the RUH and its staff for their recent success in achieving Foundation Trust status.

“It is clear that there are some exciting times ahead for the RUH with plans including the new cancer centre.”

Prospective Conservative MP Ben Howlett organised the visit.

He said “We are so lucky to have the RUH in Bath.

“Meeting nurses and doctors today showed just how they are leading the way in provision of healthcare.

“As someone who has recently lost a grandmother with dementia, the new Combe Ward showed just how they are providing excellent services to patients and their families by ensuring their lives are happy and safe.”

 

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161 miles in Sahrah Desert Race for RUH

Local Property Developer Nick Keen, aged 54 from Melksham, is busy preparing to take on the Marathon des Sables this April; ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth. After first completing the event in 2012 (and promising himself he would never do it again!) he has decided to come back for another round in the Sahara, this time with a focus to raise funds for his local Hospital through The Forever Friends Appeal – which will help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital.

From 5th April Nick will be tackling the 161 miles across the Sarah Desert over six days, including a massive 54 miles on day four, among other extraordinary competitors whilst carrying everything he needs to survive on his back (except water). To get ready for this epic challenge, which is the equivalent of running five and a half full marathons, he has been training for six months alongside his regular running and motocross regime. Nick has already taken part in last October’s Snowdon Marathon and currently clocks up over 70 miles a week. During the final stages of training he will top up his runs with a 10kg back pack.

Nick explains: “I have Sarah Chard, the UK event organizer, to thank for talking me into taking on the MdS for a second time late one evening in the Brewrey Inn! To justify the miles and miles of preparation for this extremely difficult and very sandy challenge, there is method to my madness. We all know someone who has lost loved ones or have been affected in some way by cancer. Having been part of the local motocross world for many years, I am aware of the Hucklebridge family and the motocross community’s amazing support of the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. I can’t think of any better cause to support than the build of a state-of-the-art Cancer Centre at the Hospital that will help transform the lives and care of so many local people in the future.”

The Marathon des Sables is a multi-stage adventure through the formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates, the Sarah desert. Started in 1986 by Patrick Bauer, the race is now in its 28th consecutive year and continues to grow in popularity, attracting only the bravest of challenge seekers. Under the scorching Moroccan sun life-long friendships are fostered through a shared experience of unforgettable days spent running across saltpans, up desert mountains, through ruined towns and through the occasional sand storm.

Marathon des Sables UK website gives a little taste of what participants, like Nick, will face: “Imagine yourself in the Sahara Desert with nothing but rolling sand dunes for miles around. When you plough your feet through the sand, a fine dust kicks up. You can’t feel the sweat dripping down your face because it’s evaporating in the baking heat. Your lungs feel parched. Today’s temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees centigrade). Part of your brain is screaming at you to stop, right now, to drop out of the race, but the other part of your brain is stronger. The other part of your brain knows that when you complete the final stage of the Marathon des Sables, you will have run the equivalent of five and a half marathons in five or six days, a total distance of some 161 miles.”

If you would like to sponsor Nick and support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign please visit his online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Nick-Keens-Les-Sables

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Doctor smiling to the finish line for RUH

On Sunday 26th April much loved Bath Doctor Jiten Doshi, 33, will be lining up alongside thousands of runners at the start-line of the Virgin Money London Marathon in anticipation of the 26.2 miles ahead. He is gritting his teeth and smiling to the finish line to raise funds for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign.

As a long standing member of the Bath community and Doctor at the Royal United Hospital, as well as a former pupil at King Edwards School, Jiten is dedicated to giving something back to his hometown. He has recently taken over at the Pultney Dental Practice on Argyle Street, when his family dentist retired in 2013.

Jiten comments:  “I have worked at the Oral and Maxillofacial surgery department at the RUH for the past eight years. As a 16 year old school boy, I did my work experience in the same department and was later fortunate enough to be offered a permanent position as a Specialty Doctor. With the addition of Pultney Dental Practice, it really is fantastic to treat the patients of Bath and the South West in the place I grew up and continue to live.”

Having worked with the RUH’s Oral & Maxillofacial department for the last eight years, involved in the medical and surgical management of Oral and Skin Cancer patients, Jiten understands first-hand the incredible work that takes place in the Oncology department. Jiten has treated so many patients who have experienced the current facilities and is passionate about the new Cancer Centre that will allow clinicians to continue delivering a high standard of care into the future. He has also been affected by cancer even closer to home, having recently lost his aunt to lung cancer.

Jiten explains: “Being diagnosed with cancer is a life changing, devastating experience. We are fortunate enough to have a fantastic department at the RUH, with advanced treatment and staff to help throughout the patient journey. However a new Cancer Centre is now needed to upgrade the outdated facilities, that can only improve patient care and the healing process. I have seen then impact this can have on patient lives, their family and the emotional aspect of being diagnosed with cancer. Sadly I recently lost my aunt to cancer and therefore plan to run the London Marathon in her memory and raise funds for this new Centre at the Hospital.”

The Appeal’s current focus is the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – raising £8.5 million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre at the RoyalUnitedHospital in Bath.

In the lead up to the London Marathon Jiten is training tirelessly. He has already completed the Vitality Bath Half on 1st March and is busy clocking up over 200 training miles in preparation. Laura Pearce, Events Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal comments: “Jiten is a truly inspirational person – running a full marathon is no easy feat! Every year the Royal United Hospital treats of 2,200 new patients with cancer. The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards an exceptional new Cacner Centre, where every part is designed around the patient journey and experience. It will transform care for patients and their families as well as the staff, like Jiten, at the RUH. We wish his the very best of luck and hope he smiles with every step!”

If you would like to sponsor Jiten and support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign please visit his online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/jiten-doshi1

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Second Bath City Football Club Community Day

Bath City Football Club are holding their second Community Day on Saturday 14th March 2015. Lucky fans will be able to “Pay What You Want” to watch the game against Concord Rangers, with 10% of the money taken being donated to The Forever Friends Appeal.

After the great success of Bath City’s Community Day last year, which 1374 supporters – the best home crowd of the season – the organisers look forward to another exceptional day.

The Bath City team have excited fans with their great FA trophy campaign by nearly making it to Wembley, and it will be a real boost to the team to return to Twerton Park and be greeted by a large crowd. The Bath City Foundation will also be helping to fill the Family Stand with children from local schools.

Bath City Football Club has shown fantastic support to The Forever Friends Appeal in the past, with last year’s Community Day raising an amazing £500 for The Friends Appeal. They hope to raise even more funds this year for this worthwhile cause.

Commercial Executive at Bath City Football Club, Bob Chester, comments ‘Bath City Football Club have enjoyed a great relationship over the last 12 months with the fundraisers at the RUH Forever Friends Appeal. Over £1000 has been raised and it is hoped that the Community Day plus the Build A Brick boxes that have been filled will add further to this total’.

Lydia McGivern, Community Fundraiser at The Forever Friends Appeal states, ‘We are so grateful to Bath City Football Club for all that they have done for our patients. The atmosphere at the ground on game day is fantastic and the Community Day is set to be a wonderful afternoon for all the family’.

 

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