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News

Bath ASU raise £1,400 in Corporate Challenge

Bath ASU, based in Corsham, are thrilled to announce that their team of Corporate Challenge runners in the 2015 Vitality Bath Half Marathon, have altogether they raised an incredible £1,400!

This fabulous total will go towards The Forever Friends Appeal’s Campaign to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for Bath’s RUH. The Appeal are absolutely thrilled to have the support of Bath ASU helping to transform care for patients with cancer and their families here at the RUH.

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The Bell at Lacock Raises Over £65,500

Alan and Heather Shepherd, owners of The Bell at Lacock, have been dedicated supporters of The Forever Friends Appeal (the primary fundraising charity for the Royal United Hospital (RUH), Bath) for many years. Since becoming involved with The Appeal in 2010, this amazing couple has managed to raise a phenomenal total of over £65,500 towards transforming cancer care at the RUH.

Alan and Heather first set themselves a target of raising £10,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal to mark their tenth anniversary of owning The Bell. Following a multitude of events, including a sponsored 100-mile trek of the Cotswold Way, the Bell Ball, charity breakfasts, a family fete and beer festival, quizzes and Christmas fairs, Alan and Heather had raced past their £10,000 target and began ‘The Bell – to £50,000 and beyond’ challenge. Once again the Bell surpassed all expectations by smashing this target and storming ahead to raise an absolutely incredible total exceeding £65,500. But the fun does not stop there! Alan and Heather are determined to go on and raise yet more funds to help cancer patients at the RUH, and are planning another charity breakfast to support The Forever Friends Appeal on Saturday 8th August 2015.

The wonderful achievements of this inspirational couple could not have happened without the love and support of their local community. The Bell is like a home from home, with a warm welcoming atmosphere and a happy family of local regulars. Whether it is by donations of knitted goods or sponsorship for events, the achievements of this lovely pub are a wonderful group effort, with local people rallying round to help a vital and worthwhile cause.

As a result of raising over £50,000 for The Appeal, the Forever Friends team are delighted to be able to acknowledge the incredible efforts of all at The Bell by naming them The Appeal’s first, and currently sole, Principal Community Partner. The Appeal’s Head of Fundraising, Tim Hobbs, and Community Fundraiser, Lydia McGivern were thrilled to attend a plaque presentation at the Bell on 23rd April to celebrate this success with Alan, Heather and many of their wonderful supporters. Alan and Heather will also be acknowledged within the build of the pioneering new Cancer Centre which is to be built at the RUH. This innovative new Centre will be the culmination of The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign, launched in 2011, with a target of £8.5 million to raise.

Lydia comments, ‘it was so lovely to be able to celebrate everything that The Bell at Lacock has done for The Forever Friends Appeal with so many of their amazing supporters there. This is a group of local people who have come together to do something truly incredible, which will transform the lives of so many people around them. Alan and Heather are absolutely inspirational and it is a true privilege to be able to work with them.’

Alan and Heather would like to thank all of the people who have supported their fundraising efforts. Heather states, ‘We were honoured to receive the Principal Community Partner award. We have been bowled over by the fantastic support we have received from our friends, customers and suppliers in helping us raise the total so far. The RUH Cancer Care Appeal was an obvious choice for us and the support given by others in all our fundraising efforts shows that it is a charity close to the hearts of many. The Forever Friends appeal team have given us invaluable support over the years and we would encourage anyone interested in doing their bit for this great charity to give them a call.’

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Cancer patient is determined to fundraise from her hospital bed

A fundraising page in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal is helping 55-year-old Mandy Harmandian to keep smiling during her battle with cancer.

Miss Harmandian, from Radstock, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma three years ago and went through chemotherapy before doctors gave her the all-clear.

Last September, she began having abdominal pains and received the devastating news that the cancer had returned, in the form of a tumour in her abdomen.

The 55-year-old has an identical twin sister, Toni Alford, who is a stem cell match and could donate stem cells to keep her in remission.

Doctors have said it is rare or identical twins to be a match, but unfortunately Miss Harmandian is not well enough for the stem cell transplant to take place.

Bath RUH has received funding to treat Miss Harmandian with a new experimental drug and it is hoped this will help shrink the tumour.

In the meantime, Miss Harmandian wants to raise as much money as she can for the Forever Friends- to help build a new cancer care unit at Bath RUH.

At the moment, Miss Harmandian is in the William Buds Ward at Bath RUH.

If she was given the go-ahead for the stem cell transplant, she would be transferred to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

With the help of her niece Tara Alford, Miss Harmandian has already raised £930 for the Forever Friends charity.

In April she shaved her head for the charity and her niece had her hair cut- donating it to the Little Princess Trust.

Mrs Alford, 27, a veterinary nurse working in Chippenham, said her auntie was receiving the “best care” during a difficult time for the family.

She said: “She’s been in and out of hospital since March.

“She’s had two courses of chemotherapy and we got the dreaded news that nothing is working two weeks ago.

“They have said they want to try this drug on her as an experiment to see if it will shrink the tumour.

“Because they are doing such a great job for her she wants to give something back.

“She’s a very strong person. Up until this last week she’s been laughing and joking and been so well.

“She’s very brave and we all want this to work so much.

“It’s a helpless time and it’s really helped me coping with it because I’m doing something positive- I’m doing it for her really.

“It’s so unfair this whole cancer thing for everyone, it’s absolutely heart-breaking, it’s the most awful thing we have had to go through.

“Every new bit of money I get, I text her and it keeps her smiling.”

The Forever Friends Appeal is raising £8.5 million towards the total cost of the RUH Cancer Centre, estimated to cost £23.5 million.

To donate click here.

Article ©Bath chronicle

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Cancer patient to commemorate losing her hair with fundraiser

Lindsay Game is currently receiving treatment for Breast Cancer at the Royal United Hospital and will be losing her hair when she starts her third round of treatment at the end of May.

To commemorate this occasion she is organising a Wacky Wig Week this July to raise money for the new Cancer Centre at the RUH, which will transform care for patients and their families and make a real difference.

“I remember what the Oncology department was like when I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer 26 years ago. At that time, I was teaching at Newbridge Junior School in Bath, just across the road from the RUH!

The entire department was very cramped and we often waited in a small box room with chairs all round, but when all seats were taken, we had to use chairs in the corridor. As everyone was packed in closely, there was little privacy for waiting patients.

The new Cancer Centre will certainly be bigger, and will focus on patient care and experience, reducing stress and anxiety. I particularly like the idea that it will become a beneficial healing environment and will do much to meet individual needs.”

Lindsay’s Wacky Wig Week is taking place from 6th -11th July 2015 and you can get involved by wearing a Wacky Wig (or Hilarious Hat) wherever you are, or at one of the activities planned:

All week – Lynne’s Zumba and Fitness clients

Tuesday 7 July – Singaholics, Chew Magna

Wednesday 8 July- Anywhere with Wear a Wig to Work Day

Friday 10 July – Chew Valley Country Market

Saturday 11July – Coffee Morning at Chew Stoke Church Hall at 10.30am

“I would like to say a special thank you to all my friends and family for their continued support throughout my treatment.

Also thank you to all the staff at the RUH, especially in Oncology and the Breast Clinic who have given me excellent care so far and I am sure will continue to do so.”

Please support Lindsay’s Wacky Wig Week to help make a difference to RUH patients.

Whip on a wig or hilarious hat and donate at www.justgiving.com/Lindsay-Game. Please email pictures of yourself in your wigs and hats to Lindsay at Lindsay@geniprinting.co.uk

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Brain cancer no obstacle for Bath man raising money for RUH

A Bath man is determined to hold a charity sale for cancer despite being in the grip of the disease, yet again.

Last month (April), Tony Davidge decided to hold a sale to raise money for two cancer causes to celebrate 25 years of surviving with cancer.

Shortly afterwards, the 63-year-old felt his legs “go heavy” while sat at his computer at home in Fairfield Park.

“I shuffled to the phone, dialled 999, then collapsed on the floor,” he said.

“Next thing I know, I hear someone knocking on the door saying, `Mr Davidge, Mr Davidge, can you let me in’.”

A later MRI scan confirmed he had secondary cancer in both sides of his brain.

The diagnosis came eight years after doctors discovered cancer nodules in his lungs, and 14 years after having a kidney tumour removed.

At the time, doctors told Tony he could have had the slow-growing kidney cancer since 1990.

So the charity sale on Saturday May 30 marks 25 years with the disease.

Speaking in early May, Tony was about to start treatment at the Royal United Hospital for his brain cancer.

But he was not about to let that stop him from holding his sale for the hospital’s new cancer unit and Stand Up To Cancer, an appeal for Cancer Research UK.

With the help of family and friends, Tony has distributed more than 2,000 leaflets in Bath and as far afield as Corsham advertising the charity sale at Oriel Hall in Larkhall on Saturday May 30.

His garage is full of “as new” toys, books, games, and non-perishables food items donated by the community for the sale.

Tony said he was extremely grateful to Macdonald Bath Spa for vouchers it has donated, and to his friends and family, and shopkeepers in Larkhall and Fairfield, for their help and support.

There will be an indoor bouncy castle and all are welcome to the free-entry event.

Tea and cakes will be available for a small cost.

Anyone who would like to donate goods or help Tony at the event can call him on 01225 312306.

Story & Photo ©Bath chronicle

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Bath Pharmacy on board with RUH Brick Club

The Forever Friends Appeal charity is thrilled to be welcoming another Bath company on board as a member of their Brick Wall Club. In return for a £1,000 donation to the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, The Bath Pharmacy Co Ltd, based in Burnett, has been welcomed to the club and is now in with the chance of winning an exclusive opportunity to name a room in the pioneering new Cancer Centre being planned at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

This unique new initiative was launched by the charity earlier this year. The scheme is open to the first 25 companies that join as members, after which the club doors will close. All members will then be invited to a prestigious Announcement Event, where they will each be entered into a draw and one lucky member will win a room naming opportunity in the new RUH Cancer Centre. All 25 members will be recognized with a lasting acknowledgement within the design of the new Cancer Centre building.

Finance Director for Bath Pharmacy, David Austin, was inspired by the idea of the Club and therefore decided to speak to his business colleagues about joining up as members. Mr. Austin comments: “Bath Pharmacy was established in 2012 to develop the concept of offering a more convenient way for NHS patients in B&NES to receive their prescriptions. This very personal service is not only establishing a reliable relationship between patients and their pharmacist through a prescription delivery service and direct telephone access to the pharmacy, but has also enabled GP surgeries in Bath to have greater support and communication with a Pharmacy that works to develop an understanding of their patients particular needs and circumstances. It is a formula that has been very well received by both patients and GPs alike and we will continue to build on the success of the model. Our commitment to supporting local good causes is underwritten by an undertaking we made from the outset that we would donate 10% of the company’s net profits each year. The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is one such good cause and we look forward to making ongoing contributions to other local causes in future years”.

Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Common, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Bath Pharmacy on board as members of The Brick Wall Club, and would like to thank them for their generous support to help build a new Cancer Centre here at the RUH. We hope that more small local businesses will join the Club alongside them and not miss out on this unique opportunity.”

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.

To become a member of The Brick Wall Club or for more information, visit Brick Wall Club page or call the Appeal office on 01225 825392.

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Radstock couple raise cash for 60th wedding anniversary

Radstock couple Doreen and John Doughty showed they had hearts of diamond and not gold by celebrating their 60th wedding with a gift for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

Instead of anniversary presents the couple asked family and friends for donations to the Forever Friends Appeal instead. In doing so the pair raised £570 for the Intensive Therapy Unit.

The couple feel a strong commitment to the Royal United Hospital and the unit, having needed their help on many occasions over the years.

Mrs Doughty was admitted to the Bath care unit 20 years ago following a heart attack and is grateful to all of the staff there who helped to save her life. Mr Doughty then suffered two heart attacks two years ago and once again the pair required the help of the RUH.

Mr and Mrs Doughty said they wanted to give something back to the RUH for all that staff had done to help them.

Mrs Doughty, originally from Hastings, was evacuated to Paulton with her family at the age of six during the Second World War.

She recalls arriving by train and her family sleeping on floors anywhere until a home could be found for them.

She and Mr Doughty, from Tyning, met in 1951 while following the tradition of the day when young people from the area spent their Sunday evenings walking up and down Midsomer Norton High Street.

Mrs Doughty said: “I met John as he came out of the fish shop at the top of the High Street. I don’t know about love at first sight but we have been married 60 years ago.”

The couple married at St Nicholas Church in Radstock and made their home in the town.

Mrs Doughty worked at Bailey’s in Paulton, which was a shoe factory before moving to the Clark’s factory in Westfield when it opened.

After she married she worked at Radstock Co-op.

Mr Doughty was a miner at Haydon before moving to the waggon repairs business in Radstock.

Now both retired the couple have three children, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Lydia McGivern, community fundraiser at the Forever Friends Appeal, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet John and Doreen and hear all about their wonderful diamond wedding. They are an absolutely lovely couple and we are so grateful to them for supporting us with these generous donations.”

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A Flower to Remember

A flower to RememberAs summer approaches, The Forever Friends Appeal charity for the Royal United Hospital is launching a new initiative, by inviting the general public to support the work of the hospital and remember their loved ones with the brand new ‘A Flower to Remember’ appeal.

Throughout the summer months to the end of August, everyone from across the catchment area of the RUH will be given the opportunity to make a donation of their choice to The Forever Friends Appeal and to have the name of a relative or friend acknowledged on a pretty crafted flower. These attractive flowers will then be part of a display at the RUH from 7th – 21st September 2015.

Jan Witt, In Memory and Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said “Over the years, I have seen first- hand the generosity and courage from family and friends who have lost someone very special, and have chosen to support the hospital at such a very difficult time in their lives. By introducing ‘A Flower to Remember’ appeal this summer, it will provide us not only with the opportunity to recognise this area of giving but to show our appreciation of support in a very different way.

All those who have donated flowers will be invited to a special ‘Time of Reflection’ event on the 26th September 2015, where families and friends can celebrate those lives to whom the flowers have been dedicated and can take them home as a personal memento, if they so wish.

Jan Witt continues: “We are really excited to be launching this inaugural appeal.  It will be a poignant and wonderful event with the community coming together to remember and celebrate. The dedicated flowers will revive warm memories, while helping the Royal United Hospital to continue providing the very best care and support to its patients and their families. Taking the time to donate a flower to remember a loved one, and knowing that in honouring their life you are potentially helping to improve someone else’s, is a truly powerful thing.”

To launch the scheme, A Flower to Remember’ , The Forever Friends team will be dedicating the very first flower in honour of a long serving volunteer who sadly passed away last week after a short illness.  The late Bill Viles, fondly known as ‘Young Bill’ was an active volunteer for the hospital for over 25 years and had worked tirelessly to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to support the Appeal and its projects for the RUH. He will be sorely missed by staff, patients and many of the thousands of visitors that the hospital has received over the years.

If you would like to celebrate the life of someone special and dedicate a flower in their loving memory, please complete the printed form and send it to The Forever Friends Appeal with your donation (cheques payable to RUH Charitable Fund). Alternatively visit our Flower to Remember page

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Walkers step out in their hundreds for the Walk of Life

More than 300 walkers lined the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath on Saturday as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s annual Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction.

Walkers set off from DevizesWharf at 9am, with many people completing the 21 miles to Bath, while others chose to walk 12 miles from Devizes to Bradford on Avon, or 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford on Avon to finish on the front lawns of the beautiful Holburne Museum in Bath.

The Walk of Life’s eighth year saw hundreds of walkers sign up from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire. The majority of people chose to raise money for a pioneering new Cancer Centre at Royal United Hospital in Bath, with others supporting various wards and departments at the hospital. Many people also took part in the Walk with family and friends to celebrate the lives and memories of their loved ones.

The Walk of Life was created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte from Rudge, near Frome who lost her life in November 2007 having lived with cancer for seven years. Vanessa’s Kyte’s sister, Nicola Noble from Warminster, led this year’s Walk before walking the entire 21 miles to Bath. Nicola has been involved with the walk since it started in 2008 and both her and Vanessa’s mother Dianne Young, are determined to help turn Vanessa’s dream of a new Cancer Centre for the hospital into reality.

One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre.  This Cancer Centre will be a state-of-the-art building, with every part designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer.  It will transform care for patients and their families at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

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Walk of Life sponsors, Kier Construction, are pleased to be working in partnership with the RUH Bath NHS Trust on the redevelopment of the hospital site. This was Kier’s second year of sponsoring the event.

David Snell, Director of Kier Construction said:  “As a local employer with staff resident in the Bath area, we are pleased to once again lend our support to The Forever Friends Appeal and their current fund raising campaign.  Staff from our Bristol office were pleased to take part in the 2015 Walk of Life with a large group of Corporate Challenge walkers and a number of volunteer marshals from our Graduate Training Team along the route.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with the charity in 2016.”

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments:  “This year’s Walk of Life was such a great success – perhaps the best yet! We are extremely indebted to Kier Construction who for the second year have gone above and beyond to provide the Appeal with incredible support on this year’s event. We’re also grateful to the Holburne Museum for providing our walkers with such a beautiful and unique finishing location.  With so many walkers taking part to raise money for the hospital this year, we’re hoping to smash last year’s fundraising total of £40,000. The walk is just going to grow next year.”

To find out more about the Walk of Life and how you can get involved next year, please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or call the events team on 01225 821535 for more information.

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Support from the Federation of Small Businesses

It’s not every day that £200 is raised before 9am in the morning, but this has recently been achieved by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who this morning presented a fabulous cheque for £200 to our Corporate Officer, Jo common.

Over the last 6 months, the FSB have been collecting donations at their monthly early morning Business Breakfasts towards our Campaign for a new Cancer Centre.  These events are a very popular way of networking with the local business community, and Jo has loved attending on behalf of the Appeal, having made some great connections along the way.  We would therefore like to say a huge thank you to the FSB team and everyone who has contributed towards this fabulous total to help transform care for our cancer patients and their families here at the RUH.

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