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Hairdresser marks 70th birthday with 70 mile charity challenge

Radstock hairdresser Jean Meredith has celebrated her 70th birthday in style by starting a challenge that will see her running a mile for every year of her life.

Jean, who has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities and good causes over the past 30 years by running countless marathons across the globe, began on Saturday (January 30)as she ran Somerset’s Strawberry Line route from Cheddar.

The grandmother will be raising money for the Royal United Hospital and Air Ambulance and will be collecting donations at her salon for anyone wishing to support her.

Jean has dedicated her life to raising money for charities and was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2012.

Last year she was crowned Radstock Town Council’s ‘Making a difference’ champion when she was awarded for her tireless fundraising.

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Ten-hour charity spinathon goes beyond £10,000 target

Fundraisers on static bikes cycled their way beyond the £10,000 target in aid of the RUH Forever Friends Appeal and the British Heart Foundation.

The event was organised by Rob Walsh, whose brother sadly died of a heart attack and spin teacher Tash Hillier, who lost her father to the same condition.

More than £10,000 was raised which will go towards the Bath hospital’s cardiology ward.

Bath MP Ben Howlett, vice president of the appeal, said: “I give my heartiest congratulations to everyone involved in this innovative fund raiser last weekend. It is a great achievement to have raised so much money for the Forever Friends Appeal and British Heart Foundation. It is always inspiring to see how personal tragedy can bring about so much good for the wider community.

“This is an issue very close to me and my family following my father’s recent heart valve operation.

“I am delighted to be able to regularly support the Forever Friends Appeal and British Heart Foundation and would particularly like to thank Rob and Tash for organising this excellent fund raising event.”

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Lions help patients get a good night’s sleep

The Lions Club of Radstock and Midsomer Norton have helped patients at the RUH, Bath, by donating 400 pounds to buy pillows for various wards and departments across the hospital. The pillows are being donated to the Accident and Emergency Department, Medical Assessment Unit and Surgical Admissions Unit to improve the comfort of patients on these wards.

The club decided to make the donation following a letter received from a patient who had recently been treated on these wards and noted a shortage of pillows. As pillows are frequently taken with patients in ambulances, the wards frequently need their numbers replenished to keep up with demand. Staff on these wards were delighted to receive the cheque allowing this purchase to be made.

The Lions Club have shown fantastic ongoing support to The Forever Friends Appeal, having raised over £3,000 towards the RUH’s new Cancer Centre as their Charity of Year 2012/13, and will be holding an ABBA tribute night in aid of The Appeal and Dorothy House in May.

This event, taking place on 21st May, is set to be a fantastic night of fun and fundraising with one of the UK’s best and longest established ABBA tribute, ABBAinferno. For tickets, email colinm@rmnlions.org.uk

Lydia McGivern, Community Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, commented: “We are so grateful to Radstock and Midsomer Norton Lions for their fantastic support. The Appeal relies on the generosity of local people and we couild not help to improve care for our patients at the RUH aithout their kindness.”

For further information, please contact Lydia McGovern, Community Fundraiser, on 01225 825825 or email lydiamcgivern@nhs.net


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New Bradford On Avon Fundraising Group Seeks Local Volunteers

The Forever Friends Appeal are inviting local residents to join a new Bradford on Avon Cancer Care Fundraising Group, raising funds towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH. Whether you are looking for a worthwhile project, wanting an opportunity to meet likeminded people, or would like to do something positive in your community, the Appeal need your help.

Appeal staff and volunteers will be holding an informal information event at St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon, on Saturday 2nd April at 2pm, where you can hear more about this exciting new opportunity. Everyone is welcome!

The Forever Friends Appeal is currently focused on the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – raising a minimum of £8.5 million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre at the hospital.  Together, the members of this new group will combine efforts to organise fun and exciting events and fundraising activities in the Bradford on Avon area.

This group will be the fifth RUH Community Group to be set up by The Forever Friends Appeal, with other groups already existing in Bath, Chippenham, Warminster and Midsomer Norton. The Forever Friends Community Groups provide vital ongoing support to The Appeal, both by raising vital funds towards the build of the new Cancer Centre and by raising awareness of this worthwhile cause across the RUH’s vast catchment area.

Whether it’s Pig Race Nights, Pub Quizzes, Coffee Mornings, Craft Stalls, Bucket Collections or glamorous Balls, the groups organise a wide variety of activities according to their interests. Participation is completely on volunteers’ own terms, with members giving as much or as little time as they have available and taking part in whatever way they feel comfortable.

Lydia McGivern, Community Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, comments, ‘Joining an RUH Community Fundraising Group is a fantastic and fun way to make a difference to others around you, and help people through one of the darkest times imaginable. Everyone is affected by cancer in some way, whether having to fight it yourself or watching a loved one go through it. To think that local people coming together in this way can make such a great and lasting improvement to others’ lives is utterly remarkable.’

If you would like more information about the new Bradford on Avon RUH Community Group or are interested in attending The Appeal’s Information Event on Saturday 2nd April, please contact Lydia on 01225 825825 or email lydiamcgivern@nhs.net.

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How to survive the tough path of life

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Donate your woolens this winter

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A single person can change million lives

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St Laurence School pupil raring to go for BHM

St Laurence School student Ieuan Osborn will join more than 10,000 others on March 13 to run the Bath Half Marathon for charity.

The 17-year-old, who turns 18 the day before the race, is raising money for Bath’s Royal United Hospital cancer centre appeal and has already passed his £250 target.

The Year 13 pupil has never run the distance before and is feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement ahead of the 35th edition of 13.1 mile route.

“I am raring to go and do it now,” said Ieuan. “There is a bit of nerves and excitement too. I just want to finish it and post a good time.

“Training is going very well, I am not overdoing it and I feel ready for it. I started training back in December and to be honest I just want to get it over and done with.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated. It is fantastic to raise the money so quickly – it it a very nice surprise.”

Ieuan chose the cancer centre for his fundraising efforts as his parents both work at the hospital.

“It is for a great cause and hopefully we can raise a little bit more before March 13. If I complete it, I think it will be a good way to remember my 18th birthday.”

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/Ieuan-Osborn/

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Kier have a Heart to heart at RUH

Local company Kier Construction, who are currently involved with the redevelopment of Bath’s Royal United Hospital, have collaborated with the RUH to organise a special men’s health talk for their staff on site at the RUH. This February, male staff members at Kier were invited to have a heart to heart about health issues covering cancer awareness, particularly those affecting men, mental health and hand-arm vibration syndrome – a painful and disabling disorder caused by use of hand-held power tools.

Kier Construction Ltd are currently building the new pharmacy at the RUH that will eventually be linked to the new Cancer Centre. Kier are keen to not only raise awareness of the Cancer Care Campaign but also relevant health information to their staff. Men in particular are paying the price for neglecting their health with more than 100,000 men a year dying prematurely. Kier are dedicated to supporting their staff and ensuring their welfare and what better way than to draw on the local medical expertise whilst on site at the RUH.

Kier have been great supporters of the RUH for many years, donating to The Forever Friends Appeal and have also been proud sponsors of the Appeal’s annual Walk of Life since 2014.

May 2016 will see the Appeal organising the 10th annual Walk of Life event. This positive walk to celebrate life takes place on Saturday 14th May, setting off from Devizes Wharf, heading along the Kennet and Avon canal through Bradford on Avon to finish just off the canal towpath in Sydney Gardens, Bath. Walkers can choose to walk 9, 12 or 21 miles and are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign or an RUH ward or department of their choice.

This year Kier are encouraging local companies to join them in the 2016 Walk of Life as part of the event’s Corporate Challenge. Events such as the Walk of Life offer a great opportunity for staff to build team spirit and encourage fitness and wellbeing within the work place.

David Snell, Operations Director, Kier Construction, Bristol commented “The Walk of Life has become an annual event for our Bristol team, it’s a  great chance for everyone to meet up and take part in a healthy activity, located in a beautiful setting whilst raising money for such a worthy cause.

We have supported the event for a number of years and always have a few hearty walkers going the full 21 mile distance and hope to have even more this year! The men’s health talks that took place on site this February are a stark reminder of why raising awareness of the cancer care campaign is so important and why we are keen to continue our support of the Forever Friends Appeal.”

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 a minimum of £8.5 million 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 the care for patients and their families at the RUH.

Open to men and women, entry to the 2016 Walk of Life is just £20. Louisa Smyllie, Corporate Officer at The Forever friends Appeal, comments:  “It’s great to have Kier involved with the Appeal and taking such an active role in supporting the new Cancer Centre. We hope other companies are inspired to get staff together to get fit and take part in the Walk of Life Corporate Challenge, which is a great team building and fundraising opportunity for local businesses”.

To sign up for the 2016 Walk of Life Corporate Challenge or to sign up as an individual walker, please visit our Walk of Life page

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Inspirational Ellie honoured by RUH

A young widow and mother of two from Paulton has been honoured by the RUH for her tireless work fundraising in her husband’s memory, resulting in a massive £15,600 to date being raised for the Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign.

Ellie Nowell, her two children, Morris and Marcie and the family were presented with a glass memento to honour Steve Nowell, who passed away in March 2014 from a rare form of cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, aged 37.

Ellie and Steve met when they were seventeen and nineteen-years-old, going through their university years together, travelling and buying their first home. Shortly after their wedding, Steve was given the devastating diagnosis by his doctor, having to undergo surgery and intense radiotherapy. When Ellie was pregnant with their second child, they were told that Steve’s cancer had spread.

“Whilst Ellie was still getting over the shock that Steve was taken from her far too early, she found comfort in the good that can come out of the darkest situations,” says Jan Witt, from the Forever Friends Appeal. “She set up a tribute fund in Steve’s name to help raise funds towards the Cancer Care Campaign, so that his memory will help other people and their families who are going through tough times.

“It is a sad fact that many of us in the community will experience the facilities of the new Cancer Centre when it opens, either as patients or visiting friends or a family member. Ellie knows that this exceptional new build will make the journey of fighting cancer more comfortable, providing a holistic and highly beneficial approach to care.

“When Ellie first heard about the plans for a new Cancer Centre, she hoped that Steve would benefit, but now she knows that his memory will help others that will use the facility in future.”

Since their devastating loss, Ellie and Steve’s families aimed to raise £10,000 towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign and surpassing this, are still going. Ellie and her friends have run the Bristol 10k, with the family organising two music events in Steve’s honour, as he was a talented guitarist in a band himself. Many local businesses also gave generously to a raffle to further boost funds, and a recent Cabaret evening in January, plus donations to recognise special anniversaries during the year, has meant that the total has kept increasing.

“With the £10,000 raised, this will enable naming opportunities in the new build,” adds Jan, “So Steve’s name will be honoured for many years to come. A very big thank you to the family for choosing to support us at a very difficult time.

“Ellie is a truly inspirational person.”

©The Midsomer Norton, Radstock & District Journal

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