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News

Goodness gracious great balls of fire! Movie by moonlight is back

The Forever Friends Appeal’s Movie by Moonlight, Proudly Sponsored by Freestyle Designs, is once again returning to Bath’s Royal Victoria Park on Bank Holiday Sunday 28th August!

Members of the public are being invited to put the date in their diaries for an evening of fun and entertainment under the stars at this year’s outdoor film screening of the all-time classic: Top Gun! (Cert 12a)   Entry to the event is free, with all funds raised on the night going towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Hospital. The film starts at approximately 8.30pm (or when it gets dark!), but people are encouraged to arrive early to secure a good spot.

This year, the event has also been supported by Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum Airfield in Wiltshire, who play host to a special collection of over 30 restored aircraft, cockpits, replicas, models weapons and trials equipment to show the story of flight and flight at Boscombe Down.

Emily Lynch, Events and Community Officer for the Appeal says, “We are so grateful to Boscombe Down Aviation Collection for allowing us to promote this year’s film screening against such a dramatic backdrop of incredible aircraft! The Boscombe aircraft collection is housed in a Grade II listed Hangar, built by German prisoners during the First World War; it really is amazing how visitors can sit in the cockpits of planes such as Hawker Hunters and Harriers and get a feel of what it was like to be a real life “Top Gun” pilot!”

Squadron Leader John Sharpe, Project Director at Boscombe Aviation Collection says:  “This is such a worthwhile cause and the collection is delighted to help. We wish The Forever Friends Appeal the very best for their 2016 screening of “Top Gun”!”

A hot food outlet and gourmet popcorn vendor will be available at the event and the Appeal team recommend bringing warm clothes and a torch for later in the evening. Once again the event is being presented by Heart FM’s Julian Jones and supported by the Heart Angels who will be handing out snacks to audience members who will have the opportunity to sit on their comfortable deckchairs on the night.

All funds raised at the event will go towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign to help build an exceptional new Cancer Centre for cancer patients at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.  Each year the RUH cares for 2,200 new cancer patients 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.

Emily continues, “The Appeal have currently raised £7.4 million out of our minimum £8.5 million target to build a new Cancer Centre at the hospital. We now need your support to help us raise the final 1.1 million – every little helps!  Once again the Appeal’s Events Team will be handing out special spot prizes –this time for the best dressed Maverick, Goose and Ice Man lookalikes throughout the evening! So don’t miss out on another night to remember, and we look forward to seeing what amazing fancy dress costumes turn up on the night!” 

The Appeal are now looking for screen sponsors for the Movie, so if you are interested in finding out more, please contact the Appeal’s Corporate Officer Jo Common on 01225 825392.

The Forever Friends Appeal are grateful to their official sponsors, Freestyle Designs, for sponsoring the event for the second year. For more information about Freestyle Designs, please visit www.freestyledesigns.co.uk For more information about Movie by Moonlight and the work of The Forever Friends Appeal, including other events coming up, please visit our events section or ‘like’ The Forever Friends Appeal page on Facebook or follow @ForeverFriendsA on Twitter.

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Lovehoney donates £7,000 to the RUH

The largest online sex toy retailer in the UK, Lovehoney, is donating £7,000 to The Forever Friends Appeal at the RUH, split between the RUH’s Cancer Care Campaign and the hospital’s Sexual Health Clinic. Founded in 2002 and based in Bath, Lovehoney is growing rapidly across the world as a retailer, manufacturer and distributor and was recently awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Lovehoney are new supporters to The Forever Friends Appeal and are particularly passionate about raising funds towards the Campaign to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre. The charity needs to secure a minimum of £8.5million towards the build of an exceptional new Cancer Centre for 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 do not provide patients with the optimum 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.  Beccy Gregory from Lovehoney’s Ministry of Giving states: “We chose to support the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal as we all seem to know someone whose life has been affected by cancer. The plans for the Cancer Care Centre in Bath look amazing. What a fantastic initiative to be a part of. We look forward to seeing the centre up and running.”

In addition to giving a gift to the Cancer Care Campaign, Lovehoney is committed to promoting  positive sexual health care,  Richard Longhurst, Co-owner of Lovehoney explains “The RUH Sexual Health Clinic does a fantastic job of supporting hundreds of people in and around Bath with everything from sexual health advice to treatment. We’re delighted to be able to help a local service that so strongly echoes our sexual health and happiness ethos.”

The donation to the hospital’s Sexual Health Clinic, which due to the cause’s nature can sometimes be overlooked by charity supporters, will assist the RUH in helping to provide and promote sexual health services to our local community. Debbie Chadbon, RUH Sexual Health Advisor states: Support and promotion of the RUH’s Sexual Health Clinic educates and equips people with the knowledge to seek medical help when necessary and to practice safe sex, therefore caring for their own sexual health and their partners.”

Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Common, comments: “Raising significant funds for our new Cancer Centre and supporting vital services such as the RUH’s Sexual Health Clinic would not be possible without companies like Lovehoney. Everyone at The Forever Friends Appeal and the RUH are extremely appreciative for all their hard work and support they have given to charity. Lovehoney’s donation will contribute to further improving care for our patients and their families; for this we cannot thank them enough.”

If you would like to support The Forever Friends Appeal through your company, please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or call Jo Common on 01225 825392.

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Fourth time’s the charm for Jeremy Palmer

A dad of two from Bath will be taking on his fourth skydive for charity in a world record attempt. Jeremy Palmer, 39, from Southdown will be launching himself out of a plane, to free fall 15,000ft on 22nd August (postponed from 20th June) at Dunkswell Airbase in Devon. He will be jumping for The Forever Friends Appeal to raise funds for the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) at the Royal United Hospital, after his godson and nephew were treated on the unit.

Jeremy Palmer explains: “This will be my fourth skydive and I couldn’t think of any better way to raise money for charity. Life is hard at times but for me it’s about trying to give a little bit back, after being on the take for so long, I now have the opportunity to give something in return. I am supporting RUH’s NICU once again as my nephew and godson were both treated on the unit. The staff do an amazing job and its such a great cause and fun way to say thank you!”

Since 2014 and his first ever jump (and the first time in a plane for that matter!), Jeremy has raised over £2,500 to help transform care for children and babies at the RUH. His fourth skydive will be part of a World Record attempt for the most people to skydive within 24 hours…with the aim of 333 jumps at 15,000ft. The attempt will even take place on the longest day of the year to ensure that there’s enough daylight!

“Just the thought of doing another skydive is giving me butterflies in my stomach but I absolutely love it! I really enjoy skydiving and raising money for such a brilliant cause such as the Forever Friends Appeal. I have got a few people to sign up and do the skydive to make sure that it is possible to complete this world record attempt. I’m even taking some extra money just in case they need some more people to jump again!”

At the Royal United Hospital in Bath one in ten babies are born too early, too sick or too soon and therefore need additional care. The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) provides this type of care to around three hundred babies every year. 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. This very Centre was 50% funded by The Forever Friends Appeal, the main charitable arm of the Hospital, from charitable support as part of the NICU ‘space to grow’ Campaign and provides these premature babies with the best possible start in life. Charitable donations and support from people like Jeremy, continue provide state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic equipment that helps staff deliver the best possible care to these fragile young lives.

If you would like to sponsor Jeremy and support children and babies at the RUH, please visit his online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Jer-Palmer2

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10 hour spinners pedal to £22,000 for Cardiac causes

A ten hour charity spinathon has raised well over £22,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal (specifically for the Cardiology Unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath) and the British Heart Foundation, smashing the initial fundraising target. The event held on 5th March in Southgate Bath was organised by local businessman Rob Walsh and spin teacher Tash Hillier, who have both experienced the devastating impact of heart attacks with in their families.

On the day 100 hardy cyclists took to the 53 spin bikes to pedal for the cardiac causes. Many formed teams to share the work but a brave 35, including the two organisers, completed the full ten hours in the saddle. To add to the incredible support each individual bike was sponsored by local businesses, an auction was held and over £3,000 alone was donated in collection buckets by the generous general public on the day.

The spinathon was an important and emotional project for Rob and Tash and the spinathon’s success has completely blown them away. Rob Walsh explains:

“Last June I lost my brother, Neil, unexpectedly through a heart attack.  As you can imagine this was a devastating loss for me and my family.  But what is very important to me is to turn this tragedy into something positive.

Having found out that my Spin Class Instructor Tash Hillier experienced the loss of her father last year as well, also through a heart attack, we hatched the idea of a 10 hour ‘Spinathon’ never done before in the Bath area, to raise money both for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Cardiac Unit at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, where our loved ones were treated.

Our initial aim was to raise £10,000 to be split between each charity but the event just gained more and more support and so the donations just kept coming! Tash and I are amazed and extremely grateful for all the support of the cyclists, spin instructors, bucket shakers, sponsors, event administrators and of course the people of Bath. Thanks also to the Bath MP Ben Howlett who took the time to join us and cycle on one of the bikes during the afternoon.”

Rob Walsh and Tash Hillier have been up to the RUH to present staff in Cardiology with £11,000 – their share raised from the spinathon. It will be put towards the purchase of a Balloon Pump on the Cardiology Unit. This lifesaving piece of equipment is used when patients need to be resuscitated by manipulating the heart to beat using a state of the art computer system.

Helen Twemlow, Head of Adult Technical Services for Cardiology at the RUH said: “Rob and Tash have done an amazing job organising the Spinathon… what a phenomenal achievement to raise so much money that will help patients and such an amazing way to remember their loved ones. The department are absolutely delighted to know that with their help, the new balloon pump is very much in sight and will allow us continue lifesaving care with the most technologically advanced equipment available. We’re also really impressed that they’ve chosen to fundraise with an aerobic activity that really gets the heart going! ”

Rob and Tash have had so much fun organising the Spinathon that they are already planning another one for next year, with the idea to keep fundraising until they’ve reached £100,000 for RUH Cardiology and the British Heart Foundation. The date is set for Saturday 6th May 2017 and the organisers are now seeking local business who may be interested in sponsoring a bike! If you would like more information please contact Rob Walsh at Rob.Walsh@cvag.co.uk

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Bath in Fashion raised more than £3,000 for RUH Cancer Care Campaign

This year’s Bath in Fashion raised more than £3,000 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign which is raising funds towards a pioneering new cancer centre at the hospital.

In all, £3,061.28 was donated through collections and a raffle of a beautiful pendant created through a collaboration of Nicholas Wylde Goldsmiths and British designer Zandra Rhodes and the Yarnbomb down Milsom Street.

The Yarnbomb, organised by local crochet artist Emma Leith, was kindly sponsored by Mulberry which donated £100 for every post decorated – resulting £2,000 alone.

Crafters from all across the catchment area came together to ‘Crochet for Cancer’ and transform Milsom Street into a Woollen Wonderland, with thousands of beautiful vibrant flowers covering the street. Crochet with Coffee, a monthly gathering of volunteers at Carluccio’s in Milsom Place led the flower crafting for the Yarnbomb under Emma’s direction.

Emma herself recently underwent breast cancer treatment at the RUH. She said: “I cannot thank the breast unit staff enough for their continued care and support throughout my journey with breast cancer and I am sincerely indebted to everyone who contributed to this year’s yarn bomb. It’s been an uplifting and wonderful experience seeing everyone’s work come together to create such a magnificent display and to be able to say thank you through the power of crochet!”

Lydia McGivern, community fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, said: “We are so grateful to Bath in Fashion, Mulberry, Emma and all of the wonderful local crafters for their fantastic support with the Yarnbomb. The Appeal relies on the generosity of local people and we could not help to improve care for our patients at the RUH without their kindness.

“We would also like to say a big thank you to Nicholas Wylde and Zandra Rhodes for their work in creating and raffling their beautiful pendant. The raffle raised £670 for The Forever Friends Appeal and we are so grateful for their kind support.”

 

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Cancer sufferer rides British coastline to say thank you to RUH

A Camerton man who has defied the odds to the amazement of Bath doctors is making his way around the British coastline on his trusty eighteen-year-old motorbike, while raising money for the Royal United Hospital.

Eight years ago Dave Cameron, 64, was told he had between 18 months and three years left to live after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. With the help of a newly released cancer drug, Dave is still going strong and has decided to take on the 3,500-mile trip in a way of saying thank you to the RUH Oncology and Urology Departments.

Dave set off from the RUH on June 7 on his bike for the solo trip. The money raised will go towards the Forever Friends Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign and Cancer Research UK. He’s expecting to take about 21 days to complete this epic challenge, before giving his weary motorbike a rest at the end of June.

Before even getting on his bike Dave has raised £1,500 that will be split between the two charities and is continuing to raise more through online donations.

Dave said: “My choice of these two charities is based on one being involved in the treatment of cancer patients locally and the other developing new and more effective treatments for the future. This seems to me to be a sensible way of splitting any sponsorship I manage to raise.”

He added: “I chose to ride around the whole coast of Britain for various reasons. Firstly, it’ll be a real challenge for me as my medication, although keeping me alive, tends to produce fatigue at times. Doing it by car would be much easier – I could just take naps in the car while completing the trip – but that wouldn’t be enough of a challenge.Initially my ‘future’ looked pretty bleak, but thanks to great treatment from RUH Bath and ground-breaking research by Cancer Research I’m still going strong over 8 years later – so it’s ‘pay-back time.

“I also hope to demonstrate that even after being diagnosed with cancer, in my case, advanced (metastatic) cancer, it’s still possible to live with the cancer rather than the cancer being allowed to take over your life completely. I’ve been really lucky.”

One in two people are affected by cancer and everyday lives are changed by this disease. The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising a minimum of £8.5 million towards the build of a new Cancer Centre at the RUH in Weston, to replace the existing Cancer and Haematology Department from the 1940’s. The campaign has already raised £7.3million.

A Forever Friends Appeal spokeswoman said: “There is an amazing opportunity here at the RUH, not only to create a new physical building but to also take a more holistic approach to design and develop a pioneering Cancer Centre that is centred around the patient journey and healing process – which will transform care for thousands of patients at the Hospital from Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and even further afield.

“Dave is an incredible person and we are completely in awe of this challenge and his determination to do something so good after being through so much. Such an inspiration! It’s people like Dave who are getting us one step closer to this amazing new Centre… so far the campaign has raised £7.3million which is amazing but there’s still a way to go, but all these steps are really adding up!”

To donate to Dave’s online fundraising page visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DaveCameron63

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Bath Mason groups raise £5,000 for new bereavement suite

Masonic Lodges across Bath have come together to help bereaved families at the Royal united Hospital.

The Royal Albert Edward, St Alphege and Royal Cumberland Lodges have raised £5,000 for the RUH’s ‘Forget-Me-Not’ Child Bereavement Suite in the maternity unit. This project will provide grieving parents with a safe and comforting space to spend time with their baby.

The Masons are planning to fund a new corridor and Memory Wall to the suite, providing privacy for parents at what is a very difficult time for the families. At present parents in need of the Child Bereavement Suite have to walk along the main maternity corridor, past rooms with families celebrating with their newborn babies.

The new corridor will provide a quiet, private and direct entrance to the Forget-Me-Not Suite, avoiding the hustle and bustle of the main ward. A Memory Tree will be painted along the wall of the corridor, commemorating the babies that have so sadly been lost.

The money was raised through the lodges’ Ladies Festival in May; a black tie event, with much food and music. Linda Davis, a midwife at the RUH, was delighted to attend and gave an emotional speech explaining what was needed and how it would help to comfort and support newly bereaved parents.

The suite will be named Forget-Me-Not, a link to freemasonry which dates back to the late 1930s following Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, when the flower was adopted as an emblem of the masons to replace the square and compasses. At the time freemasonry, with its ideals of humanity and tolerance, began to be persecuted by Hitler and the Nazi regime. As a result, freemasonry was forced underground, and this small flower allowed masons to identify other brothers in public as well as in concentration camps in Europe.

In 1948, when lodges reopened the Forget-Me-Not became the official masonic emblem in honour of the valiant masons who carried on their work under extremely adverse conditions.

The Forever Friends Appeal, which is aiming to raise £8.5 million towards a new cancer centre to replace the outdated wartime oncology department at the RUH is incredibly grateful to the Bath Masonic Lodges for their generosity and hard work.

Community fundraiser at the appeal, Lydia McGivern, said: “It has been an absolute honour to work with the Bath Masons this year – a truly generous and kind group. The difference that their fundraising will allow for our bereaved parents is difficult to put into words, and all I can say is that we really are so grateful.

“We have loved learning more about this organisation this year and their incredibly rich history, and we certainly hope to continue working with them and learning more in the future.”

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