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Rugby Match raises thousands in honour of James Pullen

Following the death of his dear friend James Pullen (fondly known as Pud) at the age of 28 years in December 2015; Tom Corns, together, with friends and family, organised a memorial rugby match in James’s honour. The game was played at Wells Rugby Club on Friday 13th May 2016 to support the charity, The Forever Friends Appeal at the Bath’s Royal United Hospital, and in aid of their Cancer Care Campaign.

James’s family, Dad Dave; Mum Sarah, together with Sister Ellie wanted to support the Appeal  in memory of their wonderful son and brother to  give something back to the RUH, as a thank you for the brilliant care that James received during his battle with cancer of 6 years.

The match, played between Butleigh with a representational team from Wells, was made up of people who went to school, played rugby or was coached by James. Before the main senior match, a junior game was also held between Wells and Castle Cary under 15s – Pud played junior rugby for Wells and was a rampaging outside centre.  Although, he stopped playing during the later years, he still socialised with many of the members and visitors of the club, and therefore his tragic loss touched the lives of many people in and around the rugby community in Wells.

A great evening of fun was had by all from the excitement of the game, to the post match BBQ and drinks, toasting and remembering such a wonderful man who was very much loved by everyone. The evening raised a fantastic £2,542.59 for the Cancer Care Campaign raising funds towards the build of a new Cancer Centre at the RUH. Tremendous support was given by so many organisations and individuals, from the generosity of the sponsors of raffle prizes, the printing of the programmes to the designing of the match shirts.  A special thank you was given to the players themselves who took part in the game (juniors and seniors), to the referees and touch judges, and ex Bath Rugby player Danny Grewcock who presented the trophy to the winners.

In Memory & Legacy Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jan Witt, comments “We are always extremely grateful to the hundreds of families who wish to support our fundraising work for the RUH in loving memory of their loved ones.  Tom, James’s family and friends, are incredibly inspirational raising so much money in such difficult circumstances. Knowing, that their support towards the new Cancer Centre in honour of James will help transform care for patients and their families living with cancer around the hospital’s catchment area, I hope, may provide them with some small comfort.

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Walk of Life 2016 completed by over 350 supporters

In an emotional end to their 100-mile journey, local mum Nicola Noble and her Jack Russell “Flo” entered Bath’s Sydney Gardens to the cheers of well-wishers on Saturday.

Nic and Flo spent five days walking 100 miles around the catchment area of Bath’s Royal United Hospital to mark the tenth year of the Walk of Life in support of the hospital.

They were joined on the final day (Saturday May 14) by the 350 people who took part in this year’s Walk of Life, which constituted the final leg of their journey.

The 21-mile Walk of Life, from Devizes to Sydney Gardens along the Kennet and Avon Canal, was set up in memory of Nic’s sister, Vanessa Kyte, who died from breast cancer.

The money raised from the walk will go towards The Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign, which is raising money for a new cancer centre at the RUH.

As Nic entered Sydney Gardens on Saturday afternoon, she was greeted by her mum, her nieces (Vanessa’s daughters), and her own children.

Emily Lynch, events and community officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, said: “It was a real family affair.”

Emily said this year’s Walk of Life attracted more walkers than ever before, and will hopefully raise more than last year’s total of £30,000.

“A wonderful day was had by all. The weather was just brilliant,” she said, adding a “massive thanks” to sponsor Kier Construction for all their support.

Nic’s 100-mile “Go with the Flo” challenge saw her and Flo visit the appeal’s four Community Fundraising Groups in Bath, Chippenham, Midsomer Norton and Warminster.

The pair set out from Devizes Wharf on Monday, May 9, and walked via Chippenham, Bath, Radstock, and Warminster back to Devizes, from where they began the Walk of Life on Saturday, May 14.

Each of the appeal’s community groups welcomed Nic as she arrived with a special event and fundraising activities such as yarnbombing, spinathons, and sweepstakes on the number of paw prints Flo made.

The Cancer Care Campaign is aiming to raise at least £8.5 million towards a new cancer centre to replace the outdated wartime oncology department at the RUH. The campaign has raised £7.2 million so far.

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Toby’s Story –NICU baby turned grown up runner!

Toby arrived into the world at 28 weeks in 2007 after an emergency c-section in the Princess Anne Wing at the Royal United Hospital. Having been born twelve weeks early, Toby was very poorly and his lungs were not as strong as they should have been, making his first few months in the world a real fight. He spent the first three months on a ventilator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), then progressing to a CPAP before the medical team finally declared him strong enough to come home.

Doctors warned that Toby may have long standing problems with his lungs due to the complications he faced those very first months. Despite all the odds, Toby, now 8 years old has never been back to Hospital for any major health problems apart from a hernia operation when he was seven months old. He’s as active as every eight year old should be and can certainly chase around a football! This year, Toby decided he wanted to give back to the unit (now the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care) that cared for him by taking part in the Vitality Bath Half’s Family Fun Run back in March. He set out to raise £25 as his way of saying thank you and proving just how far he’s come…and ended up raising an amazing £230 which will help care for babies just like him!

Toby says: I was born 12 weeks early and was really poorly.  The NICU in Bath saved my life and I would not be here if it was not for the Doctors and Nurses who looked after me and helped me get better.  I wanted to fundraise to say thank you for looking after me so well.

During Toby’s stay on NICU, The Forever Friends Appeal launched their ‘Space to Grow’ fundraising campaign which raised £3.1 million towards the build of a brand new Unit, in a 50/50 funding partnership with the NHS. At the RUH one in ten babies are born too early, too sick or too soon and therefore need additional care, like Toby, who featured in the campaign launch video sleeping in his incubator. These babies, who can fit in the palm of your hand or are too sick to survive on their own, need everything that modern technology can offer. The aim of the campaign was to replace the existing small, cramped facilities with a pioneering new building that complimented the complex and intensive high quality care being delivered to the hundreds premature and sick babies who depended on it every year, giving them the best possible start in life.

The campaign was hugely successful and the doors to what is now known as the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, opened in July 2011 and provides care to around three hundred babies, much like Toby, every year. The Centre has brought Bath and its surrounding areas the first environmentally sustainable building of its kind in Europe that has exceeded all expectations, won several awards including the Breeam ‘Excellent’ and created a dramatically different environment for care with its holistic and therapeutic approach to design. The light, airy and calm surroundings have had a huge impact on babies, parents and staff and the clockwise circuit of care rooms, decreasing in intensity of care, around the staff base at the heart of the unit allows parents to see and understand the progression of care their babies take. Stress levels have also been reduced, the babies appear less agitated and parents are able to spend more time with them in this spacious, healing environment; allowing for the proper use of nurturing ‘developmental care’ techniques.

Whilst the campaign to build this amazing new Centre has been completed, charitable donations are still very much welcome and continue provide state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic equipment (above and beyond what the NHS can provide) that help staff deliver the best possible care to these fragile young lives.

Unfortunately Toby was struck down with the dreaded flu-like illness the week before the Vitality Bath Half Family Fun Run and was unable to take part in the race. Although Toby was pretty devastated about this, his brilliant brother was on hand to run on his behalf! After a speedy recover Toby has been out running, proudly in his Ted’s Team vest, with mum Ruth to make up for it ever since.

Sarah Goodwin, Practice Development Sister for the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care says: “Everyone at NICU would like to say a big Thank You to Toby for taking the time to raise £230 for the Unit – we are so grateful! We were sorry to hear that Toby became unwell and was unable to complete the Fun Run but we are glad that he is still enjoying his running. Thanks to Toby, we will be able to buy some equipment to help other babies and families during their time on NICU.”

If you would like to support the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) just like Toby, or find out more about this unit please visit:  www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/nicu

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Summer Party as part of Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations

Bath is invited to Parade Gardens Summer Party as part of Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Bath will be joining in with the Queen’s birthday celebrations this summer by hosting a party in Parade Gardens.

Tickets have gone on sale for the Queen’s Birthday Charity Picnic which will be a celebration of the monarch’s milestone, support small Bath businesses and raise money for three local charities – The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign, St John’s Hospital and The Volunteers Centre.

The city-centre summer party which will include live music, children’s entertainment and food and drink stalls takes place on Sunday, June 12.

Organiser councillor Michael Norton (Cons, Lyncombe) said: “All cities and major towns are doing something so this is what we are doing locally in Bath. “It’s a celebration, to raise money for local charities and to do something for the community. It will be a family event and child friendly.”

He added: “It’s a milestone. The party will be going on alongside the national celebrations and people love to celebrate these types of things so Bath shouldn’t miss out.”

Mr Norton was asked to organise a Bath event after being in touch with the team behind London’s Patron Lunch – the capital city’s larger party in aid of the Queen’s birthday.

He said: “I’ve been planning this for the last six to seven weeks and I’m now finalising the finer details and planning the day itself. Fingers crossed people buy tickets and the weather is good.

“It will be a family day with bands playing music from the band stand, there will be face painting, a bouncy castle and charity stalls.

“It’s about local businesses, local music and for everyone to have a great day. This is an opportunity to do something locally for the people, local businesses and charities.”

The gardens can hold a maximum of 2,000 people and entry will be monitored and ticketed to keep track of numbers.

Vendors on the day will include Yammo!, Choo Choo BBQ, with beer provided by Electric Bear and flavoured cocktails from The Tipsy Botanists. Bath Spa students will perform, along with other artists including the Sam Evans Band and Reece Hughes.

Tickets cost £10 and can be picked up from the Tourist Information Centre or by searching on www.visitbath.co.uk/whats-on. Children under 12 years old go free.

Plans are in the pipeline to make the summer party an annual event, tied into a different theme each year.

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Hundreds to take part in charity walks 10th anniversary

More than 300 walkers will line the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath this Saturday 14th May, as part of The Forever Friends Appeal’s annual Walk of Life, proudly sponsored by Kier Construction.

The Walk of Life is a positive walk to celebrate life. Hundreds of walkers will set off from Devizes Wharf this Saturday at 9am, with many people choosing to complete the full 21 miles to Bath, others opting to walk 12 miles from Devizes to Bradford on Avon, and some 9 miles in the afternoon from Bradford on Avon, to finish in Bath’s Sydney Gardens. The majority of people are taking part to raise money for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, while others will walk in support of various wards and departments at the hospital. Many people will take part in the Walk with family and friends to celebrate the lives and memories of their loved ones.

This year the Walk of Life is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. The Walk was started in 2006 by sisters Vanessa Kyte and Nicola Noble and was originally an epic 80 mile walk around the RUH Catchment area, known as “March Miles”. The sisters started the Walk with staff at the Appeal to raise money for a new Cancer Centre at the RUH. Vanessa sadly lost her life in November 2007 having lived with cancer for seven years and Nicola has continued taking part in the event every year in her memory, which has now evolved into the “Walk of Life”.

To celebrate 10 years since the Walk first started and to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, Nicola has been extremely this week, recreating the very first 80 mile walk around the RUH Catchment area that she and Vanessa first started back in 2006. Nicola and her beloved dog “Flo” set off from Devizes last Monday 9th May to walk a total of 80 miles between Chippenham, Bath, Radstock, Warminster and will finish back in Devizes on Friday 13th May. This Saturday 14th May, Nic and Flo will complete a final 21 mile walk by taking part in the Appeal’s annual Walk of Life – taking them to over 100 miles in 6 days!

On their 80 mile “Go With the Flo” Walk this week, Nic and Flo have been met by lots of friends and family on their way, and have even bumped into HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on their route, whose dog “Beth” looked very similar to Flo herself! HRH who has support The Forever Friends Appeal in the past, was kind enough to stop and talk to Nic and wished the pair the very best of luck on the rest of their journey!

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments:  “We are so grateful to the hundreds of Walkers who have already signed up for the Walk of Life’s 10th anniversary – it’s going to be our best year yet! Together with staff at the Appeal, we are all so proud of Nic Noble and her dog Flo for taking on their epic 100 mile challenge around Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire, which will raise much needed funds and awareness for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Raising money for a new state of the art Cancer Centre was the reason the Walk began 10 years ago and continues to be the driving force behind continuing the event every year.”

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 £8.5million 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.  The Appeal have currently raised an incredible £7.2 million and have another £1.3 to go until they reach their minimum target of £8.5 million.

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 is now Kier’s third year of sponsoring the event.

Emily continues, “We are extremely indebted to Kier Construction who for the third year have gone above and beyond to provide the Appeal with incredible support with the event, which this year includes a special BBQ at our lunch time stop in Bradford on Avon’s Victory Field. 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 £35,000. The walk is just going to keep growing!”

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Castle Combe racers hit top gear for Cancer Care

Racing enthusiasts taking part in a track day at the Castle Combe Circuit hit top gear after raising more than £5,000 for the Royal United Hospital’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Now in its third year, the annual event has raised £12,000 for the RUH after Maria Fisher, the circuit’s sales co-ordinator, discovered she had a cancerous tumour on her lung in 2013.

The 51-year-old had the whole of her right lung removed and chose the charity when asked by track day organiser, Chris Darwin, to select a cause for the day of racing.

“It was three years ago last week that I had the lung removed,” said Mrs Fisher, who has worked at the circuit for 21 years.

“It was a shock when I found out. I used to be really fit and healthy and a non-smoker.

“Chris asked me what charity I wanted the money from the track day to go towards and I had to go with the RUH for all their help and support.

“The track day itself this year was brilliant, we had about 40 cars there and raised £5,200.

“Since last year I’ve been doing light exercise and did the Race for Life in Bath last year and raised £1,400.”

The Forever Friends Appeal aims to raise £8.5m to build a new state-of-art cancer centre at the Bath hospital which is hoped to be open by 2020.

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Nic and Flo to walk 100 miles to mark 10th Anniversary

Nicola Noble, and her Jack Russell “Flo”, are about to embark on an inspirational walking challenge to raise money for a new cancer centre at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

Nic and Flo plan to walk 100 miles in five days to support The Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign.

Their journey, starting on Monday (May 9), will see them visit the appeal’s four Community Fundraising Groups around the hospital’s extensive catchment area.

Nic decided to take on the “Go with the Flo” challenge to mark the tenth year of the appeal’s Walk of Life, which was set up in memory of her sister, Vanessa Kyte, who died from breast cancer.

The 100-mile walk will also celebrate the achievements of the appeal’s fundraising groups in Bath, Chippenham, Midsomer Norton and Warminster.

Nic and Flo will start their journey in Devizes and go through Chippenham, Bath, Radstock, Warminster, and back to Devizes.

On Saturday, May 14, Nic will finish the final leg of her challenge by taking part in the 21-mile Walk of Life along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Each of the appeal’s community groups will welcome Nic as she arrives with a special event and fundraising activities such as yarnbombing, spinathons, and sweepstakes on the number of paw prints Flo will have made.

All the money raised from Nic’s 100-mile walk and the fundraising events will go towards the Cancer Care Campaign, which is aiming to raise at least £8.5 million towards a new cancer centre to replace the outdated wartime oncology department at the RUH.

Nic said: “One promise, ten years, hundreds of walkers and thousands of pounds – a wonderful legacy for my beautiful sister.

“I am taking on this challenge to celebrate ten years of amazing fundraising, by walking around the community which will benefit so enormously from this new cancer centre.’

‘I am asking local businesses, groups and individuals to get involved however they can, whether it’s by sponsoring my walk with Flo or joining me for the final leg by entering the Walk of Life.”

To sponsor Nic, visit www.justgiving.com/Nic-Noble-GoWithTheFlo.


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