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Fundraisers preparing for India Trek raise £25,000

On Friday 30th October, seventeen incredible individuals will take the first of thousands of steps as part of a five day trekking challenge through the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India. In the many months leading up to departure, each trekker has worked extremely hard to raise vital funds for The Forever Friends Appeal and so far have raised a combined total surpassing £25,000 towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – which is fundraising for a world class new Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

From cake sales, dance evenings, cream tea afternoons to fancy dress half marathons and a very apt Indian elephant naming game, the trek has already led the group to some amazing fundraising achievements before they even set foot in India! Each of the seventeen trekkers have their own personal reasons and stories for taking part, but all have one thing in common – an inspirational dedication to support their local hospital and help transform cancer services for the future.

The trekking team, of which four are staff at the hospital, include: Gisela Barcat-Angelelli, Katrina Bride, Becky Brooks, Diana Dixon, Christina Ferreira, Lindsey Hobbs, Ines Martins, Ashley Nesbitt, Victoria Owen, Helen Pyne, Fiona Ryall, Sandra Sach, Debbie Saffin, Surrinder Sandham-Bains, Tim Shire, Frankie Simpkins and Kirsty Thompson.

The team will walk for up to eight hours a day as part of the five days of tough trekking, and will be challenged early on in their journey, travelling on an infamous sleeper train before numerous steep ascents and descents that will take the team well and truly out of their comfort zones. The trek will continue over 67km, with the trekkers exploring and experiencing all that Northern India has to offer with a variety of terrain including meadows and foothills at the heart of the world’s highest mountain range, cattle passes, glaciers, Hindu settlements and Buddhist Monasteries.

To keep the trekking fueled on their challenge, Marshfield Bakery have kindly donated 100 flapjacks to keep their sugar levels up with the sweet treat when the going gets tough!

The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards a pioneering Cancer Centre at The Royal United Hospital in Bath. This new Centre will transform the care for patients and their families affected by this life changing diagnosis. The hospital is planning on replacing its outdated 1940s cancer facilities, with a world class new Centre that is truly fit for purpose that will bring treatment ‘under one roof’. To date the campaign has raised £6.9 million and its with the support of the public and the incredible fundraisers like the India trekkers, that will help raise the final £1.6 million.

Laura Pearce, Events Fundraiser for the Appeal comments: “We are so proud and grateful to all of our India trekkers as well as everyone who has generously supported them so far. They have all worked incredibly hard, not only to train and prepare for this physical challenge but to help raise significant funds for the build of the new Cancer Centre – £25,000 is no easy feat! We now wish them the very best of luck on their Himalayan adventure where they can create memories that will last a lifetime, with the knowledge that each step they take is one step closer to a pioneering Cancer Centre at the RUH.”

Although places on this challenge are now closed, the Appeal are now looking for another group of adventurous fundraisers to take part in Trek Cambodia 2016 – a 95km trek to Angkor Wat (Lonely Planet’s number one place to see on their Ultimate Travelist)! For more information please visit our Cambodia Trek page or give Laura a call on 01225 821535.

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Danone Nutricia Staff Smash Double Ironman Challenge

This October the Finance team at Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition took on two Ironman Triathlon challenges to raise money for the RUH Children’s Centre. They smashed their target by surpassing the required distances and raised an amazing £2063 for a cause close to their hearts!

“When picking a charity to raise money for it was obvious to us to choose RUH Forever Friends Charity as they do such great work for work fundraising for our local hospital.”– Finance Team Member

The team set off in Bradford-On-Avon pool at 7.45am and surprised themselves with their early morning perkiness. Almost everyone over achieved on their required distances, totalling 5.89 miles when only 4.8 was required.

The whole team re-united in the office for a quick breakfast before the road cyclists set off on their 40 mile route. Meanwhile, the rest of the team set up in the canteen on stationary bikes. It was then that they realised just how fast they would have to pedal in order to complete the required 150 miles in 4 hours! Out on the country lanes, the road cyclists navigated around a tractor and a car transporter, and only suffered one puncture!

After four and a half hours, the whole team finished their mass cycle having completed 360 miles instead of the required 224!

“Everyone had a great day, it was great to get out and about whilst raising money for such a good cause” – Finance Team Member

The final challenge of the day was the 5km run which turned into more of an orienteering exercise with the joggers setting off in the wrong direction and a few participants running lost for a while. Yet somehow the teams managed to reunite and completed the route adding a few extra miles!

“It was great to see everyone working so hard to raise money for Forever Friends both on the day and in the build up to the day”. – Finance Team Member

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Bristol to Bath Marathon – Can you spot yourself?

Congratulations to all our runners in the Bristol to Bath Marathon.

The Forever Friends Appeal were Official Local Charity Partner in the very first Sanlam Bristol to Bath Marathon. These are just some of our fantastic Ted’s Team runners who ran in support of patients and their families at the RUH – can you spot yourself?

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A Better Spooky Spinathon

Grab your witches hats and pumpkins and head down to Bath Sport and Leisure Centre this Halloween for a spooky spectacle! Guest instructors from Better at the BANES Fitness Team and other brave souls will be spinning for five hours on Saturday 31st October, to help raise funds for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Vampires, witches, skeletons and other spooky creatures will be spinning in true monster mash fashion with Halloween songs played throughout to get ‘dem bones’ in the crowd (and on the bikes) shaking!

GLL, which has recently taken over the management of a number of leisure centers throughout the B&NES area, is the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise. The new contract began 1 July 2015 and covers Bath Sport and Leisure Centre, Keynsham Leisure Centre, Culverhay Leisure Centre, Chew Valley Leisure Centre, Odd Down Playing Fields and the Bath Pavilion.  Through an estimated £17 million of investment, the Council’s leisure centers will be modernised and upgraded by GLL.

GLL is committed to working with the Council to deliver objectives on raising levels of physical activity and tackling health inequalities as set out in the Fit for Life Strategy. As part of this focus Better was introduced as the public ‘face’ for GLL, with an aim to provide more than just access to services but to invest in local communities as well.

Daniel Goetz, Fitness and Operations Manager at Bath Sports and Leisure Centre comments:

“Better is all about supporting the local community and The Forever Friends Appeal makes life changing chances to those in need. As such we are committed to supporting this local charity as they work towards funding projects that make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of local patients cared for by the Royal United Hospital year as well as the many friends and family who visit them – all of which are part of our wider community. Our Halloween themed spinathon fundraiser is going to be a lot of fun and if you are able to provide a few cheers or a donation on the day it will make a huge difference.”

The Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Each year the RUH treats over 2200 new cases of cancer from the hospital’s extensive catchment area and as such it has been a long-term aim to seek a solution to the current disjointed 70 year old facilities to bring Cancer Services at the RUH all under one roof. The new Cancer Centre will balance clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment, making 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.

Laura Pearce, Events Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal comments: “We are so grateful to Bath Sports and Leisure Centre who support the Appeal year after year. Over this time they have raised thousands of pounds for the Royal United Hospital. So far the RUH Cancer Care Campaign has raised £6.9 million towards the final goal but it’s the continued support from the public and local organisations like Bath Sports and Leisure, who are dedicated to the Hospital and the local community, that will help raise the final £1.6million.”

Please stop by the Bath Sport and Leisure Centre on Saturday 31st October to support this spinning monster marathon! The spooky spinners will be based on the walkway outside the Centre between 12:30pm and 17:30pm… just before the witching hour begins! If you would like to support their efforts you can donate to their Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/Spookyspinathon

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Party for life to raise charity cash

Dedicated fundraiser Clare Williamson is organising a massive party to celebrate life and to raise money for two charities close to her heart.

Ms Williamson from Semington has joined forces with Community First in Devizes to organise Party For Life – Let’s Celebrate in memory of her brother who died in 2011 and in support of her mother who is battling cancer.

She hopes people will turn out in force for the event on November 6 at Trowbridge Civic Centre. Money raised will be split between The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Campaign, raising £8.5 million towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospital, Bath and Community First which provides support for young people and young carers, via the organisation’s Youth Action Wiltshire and Splash programmes.

Ms Williamson’s brother Mark Harper, 45, died at Christmas time in 2011 leaving a huge hole in her family and her mother Pauline Harper who has stage four lymphatic cancer.

It is the second time she has organised a fundraising party and hopes to follow on from her previous success when she raised £7,000.

One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease, just like Pauline and her family.  The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath. This Centre will be a pioneering building, focused on an individualised and holistic approach to the treatment of cancer patients, where every part is designed around the needs of patients with different forms of cancer as well and their friends and family who visit them.  It will transform care for local patients and their families in Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and even further afield.

With the help of amazing supporters just like Clare, the RUH Cancer Care Campaign is over half way to achieving its target of £8.5 million.

Clare explains why this event and fundraising for the new Centre is so important to her: “My motivation to organise Party for Life again has been driven largely by two people in my life. My mum Pauline is my rock and inspiration, and my brother Mark. My mum is having treatment but she will be at the party. She is an incredible woman and is right behind what I am doing. We hope to raise lots of money for the charities and would urge people to buy tickets.”

The party starts at 7.30pm with a drinks reception and canapes and there will be entertainment provided by a Bristol-based function band, The Soul Strutters. Tickets cost £40 which includes a two-course dinner. There will also be a raffle and auction during the evening

Ms Williamson said: “Both charities are amazing. The staff at Community First has enthusiasm in abundance for the work they do and the services they offer across our county. They have made a huge difference in the community and changed so many lives. The new RUH Cancer Centre in Bath is all about lives in the future and this event will help patients and their families every day when their lives are changed forever by cancer. So please help me raise awareness and vital funding for these two charities. Let’s celebrate what we have and that we are alive and surrounded by amazing people. We’re here for a good time not for a long time, so let’s party!

For tickets e-mail party4life@eye4-media.com or call 01225 899 164 or 07786 344 553

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The Boobie Bunch shave their heads for Cancer Care

On Sunday 20th September 2015 ‘The Boobie Bunch’ comprising of Becky Tucker, Lizzie Barker and Jill Fulker held a fund raising day in Sutton Benger. During the day they had a craft stall, BBQ, cake stall, raffle, bric a brac, water or wine stall, guess the name of the teddy and guess the amount of sweets in the jar.

The fundraising day culminated in Lizzie and Jill shaving their heads in support of Becky who is currently undergoing treatment at the existing RUH Oncology unit. The event was very well attended and supported by family, friends and neighbours. One of the main attractions was the raffle and this is where the trio would like to personally thank everyone for their very kind donations of raffle prizes or donations. The day raised a staggering £1000 and with additional sponsorship monies and their JustGiving pages the final amount will be over £3,600 with more still coming in! This amount far exceeds anything they had hoped to achieve.

The Boobie Bunch would like to thank the following local businesses for their support:

Chippenham: Morrisons, Sainsburys, The Wellesley Arms, Boots, Maddisons, Paprika, Beechfield House, Whitehall Garden Centre, Leekes, The Chocolate Shop, Sukh Beauty, Waterstones, Avon Cosmetics

Corsham: Book Shop, Bliss Beauty, Head Office, The Salon, The Café, All the Pretty Things, VLP Italian Restaurant, The Methuen Arms, The Fruit Shop, Theodora’s, Daisy Chain, The Deli, Green Ginger and Toby the Butchers.

Many raffle prizes were also gratefully received from family and friends.

As this event was such an achievement Becky, Lizzie and Jill plan to hold future fundraising events so keep an eye out for more information coming soon.

Well done ladies – what an amazing achievement!

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Ward for older people at RUH wins official approval

A specialist ward for older people at Bath’s Royal United Hospital has won official approval for how well it looks after patients in its care.

The Combe Ward is one of just 27 in the country to have earned the Elder Friendly Quality Mark.

The seal of approval from the Royal College of Psychiatrists came after the ward was assessed for the quality of the care it provides to patients.

Patients were asked about their care, food and drink, whether they were kept comfortable, and the level of support from staff.

What is the Quality Mark?

The premise for the Quality Mark is that good quality care for older people on a hospital ward requires:

The hospital/senior management team:

  • to identify the particular needs of older people in the acute hospital setting and the risks of admission;
  • to understand basic care requirements and acknowledge that high quality care for this group of patients is a pre-requisite for achieving a good standard of care overall;
  • to support, enable and equip ward managers to create a care environment that can meet the needs of frail older people.

The ward manager and lead clinician to lead, motivate and enable the ward staff team to deliver high quality care to frail older people.

The behaviours and actions of the ward staff result in high quality care.

Patients and carers to perceive all of the above coming together into a positive experience of care.

The aim of this quality improvement programme is to support and encourage wards to provide a standard of care that can minimise or eliminate those risks arising from an ill-informed or under-equipped approach to the basic care needs of this group, which comprises up to two thirds of acute hospital admissions.

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Local business supports NICU with special medical lamp

Recently local business man Mark Naylor, of Mark Naylor Estate Agents and Anna Moore supported the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care where Mark’s wife Angela works, by purchasing a state-of-the-art medical examination lamp.

The special LED lamp is portable and the ideal size to be positioned quickly and accurately, allowing the dedicated staff that extra light in sometimes difficult situations. The light-head gives a high-intensity output and no heat in the beam to ensure comfort for the babies.

Mark said “As a local businessman I have always been keen to support local ‘things’ and try to three or four things a year. My wife Ange mentioned one night that department could really do with a special lamp and I was only too happy to help.”

All the staff on the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care would like to express their thanks to Mark, Anna (and Angela) for their support in purchasing this much needed piece of equipment.


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Big Ted & Mogers Drewett announce winners of Schools competition

Between Monday 5th and Friday 9th October, thousands of people across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire held coffee mornings, bake sales and bake offs in support of The Forever Friend’s Appeal’s brand new annual fundraising week for the Royal United Hospital: Ted’s Big Bake Off, proudly sponsored by Mogers Drewett Solicitors. Participants taking part in Ted’s Big Bake Off could choose to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign or a ward or department of their choice at the hospital.

To celebrate the very first year of Ted’s Big Bake Off, official sponsors of the event, Mogers Drewett Solicitors, ran a special Schools and Nursery Cupcake Decorating Competition back in September which was open to every school and nursery who registered to take part in Ted’s Big Bake Off.

Steven Treharne, Managing Partner at Mogers Drewett said: “Many of us know someone who has been treated or cared for at the RUH, whether it be family, friends or colleagues, and at Mogers Drewett we admire the care and dedication shown by the hospital and staff. We are delighted to once again adopt The Forever Friends Appeal as our charity of the year.”

The competition challenged pupils from schools and nurseries participating in Ted’s Big Bake Off, to design a special cupcake for the Appeal’s popular mascot “Big Ted”. Prizes up for grabs included a £50 Odeon Cinema gift card for the winning child and £100 Waterstones book vouchers for the winning school and nursery.

On Thursday 15th October, Big Ted himself, along with staff from Mogers Drewett Solicitors paid a special surprise visit to the two lucky winners Cicely Beattie (7 yrs and over) from Moorlands Junior School and Amelie Willis (6 yrs and under) from King Edward’s Pre-Prep and Nursery, Bath. Big Ted and friends presented the children with their prizes and thanked both schools for taking part in the Appeal’s brand new annual fundraising week for the RUH.

Events & Community Officer for the Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments: “The Forever Friends Appeal are so grateful to Mogers Drewett for supporting us once again, this year with our brand new fundraising week for the RUH: Ted’s Big Bake Off. We would also like to thank all of the schools and nurseries who took part in our annual fundraising week and raised some serious dough for the RUH! It will be some time yet before we know the grand total raised at this year’s event, but we expect it to be in the tens of thousands!”

Next year’s Ted’s Big Bake Off is due to take place between Monday 17th and Friday 21st October 2015. For more information about Ted’s Big Bake Off, The Forever Friends Appeal and their upcoming events, please visit our Events section.

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Withy King finishes two years of fundraising

Local solicitors Withy King have become a Corporate Partner of The Forever Friends Appeal having raised £20,000 in support of the Cancer Care Campaign. Withy King selected The Forever Friends Appeal as their chosen charity between 2013 – 2015 and have been fundraising for the past two years. To thank Withy King for all their hard work and support, Big Ted visited staff at their Midland Bridge Office to present a commemorative Corporate Partner plaque to display in their office. That’s not all! As a Corporate Partner for the Cancer Care Campaign, Withy King will receive a facility naming opportunity within the pioneering new Cancer Centre, a lasting acknowledgement of all their support.

Withy King values the importance of creating and building relationships, not only with their clients but with the wider community. This is reflected by the staff involvement in fundraising and supporting The Forever Friends Appeal. Throughout the past two years staff have been getting involved with Forever Friends Appeal events such as the Walk of Life and taking part in Bath Half Corporate Challenges. In 2014 staff took on a summer of sport organizing a three peaks challenge and completing the Bike Bath 60 mile cycle ride. Plus the company has donated their expertise by taking part in Make A Will Month this September.

Greg Callard, Senior Associate at Withy King comments: “Withy King are delighted to support the fantastic work that the team at the cancer centre at the RUH undertake. We are proud to have been involved with the Forever Friends team and to become a Corporate Partner.”

Head of Fundraising for The Forever Friends Appeal, Tim Hobbs, comments:  “Withy King has been an incredible supporter of The Forever Friends Appeal for the past two years. Their significant donation of £20,000 will truly make a difference to the lives of our cancer patients at the RUH.  We would therefore like to say a heartfelt thank you to the whole Withy King team for their dedicated support for our cause and we are thrilled to welcome the company on board as Corporate Partners.”

Find out more about The Forever Friends Appeal’s Corporate Partnership scheme and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre

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