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Bath based BLB Solicitor takes the jump for The Forever Friends Appeal

Brave paralegal, Millie Bryant-Pearson, is jumping out of a plane in June to raise funds to help build a pioneering new Cancer Centre for Bath’s RUH.  Millie, who works for BLB Solicitors in Bath, chose to take on this challenge to raise funds for her firms Charity of the Year.  Along with Millie’s jump, BLB have organised an office cake sale for Ted’s Big Bake Off, a Christmas Jumper day, along with many other exciting activities, all in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal!

BLB solicitors. November 2016. Photographer Freia Turland e:info@ftphotography.co.uk m:07875514528

Millie commented: “My jump will be the highlight of our fundraising year. This brand new centre is close to the hearts of many BLB staff members so I am hoping I can raise a decent amount to donate to this worthwhile cause.  This is a personal challenge which will take me well and truly out of my comfort zone.”

Jo Common, Corporate Officer of The Forever Friends Appeal team says: “We wish Millie the best of luck for her jump, and would like to thank her and the team at BLB for their wonderful ongoing support!”

Choosing a ‘Charity of the Year’ is a great way to get your company involved, working together to raise funds for your chosen campaign, ward or department! If you would like more information or a Corporate Fundraising pack, please contact Jo on 01225 825392 / jo.common@nhs.net

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A Marathon effort by local Solicitors

A dedicated team of walkers from local law firm, Thatcher + Hallam, have helped raise more than £2,000 by completing the Walk of Life on Saturday, 13th May. George Persson, Laura Ablett and Mike Gane all completed the Walk of Life’s ten-mile route from Devizes to Bath on the Kennet and Avon Canal. However, Head of Family Law, Hayley Veale, together with her husband, Martyn, successfully completed the whole day’s version of the walk, totalling 26.2 miles, the length of a marathon.

The Walk of Life is a charity event organised by the RUH’s Forever Friends appeal. This year, the sold out event attracted more than 500 walkers who were joined by the Walk of Life’s Official Ambassador, Michael Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury Festival.


“This was all for a wonderful and particularly relevant cause, given the help and comfort that the RUH was able to provide to our late colleagues, Ken Saunders and Tim Westlake,” says Hayley Veale. “We actually needed to train for this. Walking more than 26 miles in one stretch is not the sort of thing anyone does lightly. I think that all of the walkers felt a little weary by the end, but it was definitely all well worth the effort!’

Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Jo Common, said: “Thatcher and Hallam have been supporting The Forever Friends Appeal since 2015, and we are so pleased that this year, they chose to take on our Walk of Life Corporate Challenge. The team are really enthusiastic about helping raise as much as possible to help transform care for patients here at the RUH, so we are really grateful for all their incredible support!”

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University of Bath students hitchhike for RUH patients

Bath University RAG (Raise and Give) will be the first University student group to become Community Partners of The Forever Friends Appeal, for raising £10,000 for the build of a new Cancer Centre.

On 31st March 2017, 22 pairs of students from the University of Bath took part in a hitchhiking fundraising challenge to Edinburgh, starting at the campus and finishing in the heart of the Scottish Capital (385 miles!).

The first pair set off at 7.30 am, with the rest following soon after. Along the way, students took part in a scavenger hunt and were even given lifts by Marines, Police and even Shrewsbury Town Football Club!

The first couple arrived at Edinburgh Castle in 9 hours and 21 minutes, with 14 pairs arriving on the first day, and the rest completing the hitchhike by the following evening.

Over £8000 has been raised from this fantastic event, with the funds split between RAG’s Big Four chosen charities, including The Forever Friends Appeal, the primary charity at Bath Royal United Hospitals. Students have also taken part in the Bath Half Marathon, and a Zombie Apocalypse event, and with over 2500 students taking part in fundraising initiatives, it has been a particularly successful year.

Claudia Hickin from The Appeal said, ‘We are thrilled to have the support of Bath RAG this year and can see the students have been working hard and creatively to raise funds for their Big Four. The charity Hitchhike looked like such a fun weekend, with some great costumes! The funds raised from this will go towards the building of a new Cancer Centre at the Bath Royal United Hospitals, providing innovative and therapeutic care for our local community’.

Bath RAG have been supporting The Forever Friends Appeal since 2000, taking interest in funding for the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, as well as most recently supporting the Cancer Care Campaign. The Appeal are raising a minimum target of £8.5 million towards the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the RUH. So far, Bath RAG have raised a fantastic £8389 and by the end of the University term, they will become The Appeal’s first University Cancer Care Community Partner, having raised over £10,000, and will be recognised within the build of the Centre.

The Forever Friends Appeal are incredibly grateful for the hard work that the students and staff have put into supporting an important cause that will continue to help our local community.

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Epic 10 hour spinathon pedals to £11,000 for RUH patients

Over 100 brave spinners took to the saddle in SouthGate Bath on Saturday 6th May, to raise funds for patients and their families at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. The event was organised by local businessman Rob Walsh in memory of his brother Neil Walsh, and fitness instructor Tash Hillier in memory of her father Ken Hillier. Sadly, both men passed away suddenly after suffering heart attacks in 2015.

The 10 hour Spinathon, which is the second of its kind, has raised over an incredible £11,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal (the primary charity for the Royal United Hospital), which is to be split between the Cardiology Unit and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. With the first event in 2016 raising just over this for the RUH, a massive £23,000 in total has been donated to help transform care and support patients and their families when they need it most.


The spinathons have been important and emotional projects for Rob and Tash and the spinathon’s success has completely blown them away. Rob Walsh explains:

“In June 2015 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 recently as well, also through a heart attack, we hatched the idea for our first 10 hour ‘Spinathon’ in 2016, which raised money for the Cardiac Unit at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, where our loved ones were treated and the British Heart Foundation.

All of our amazing cyclists, spin instructors, bucket shakers and bike sponsors helped us raise an amazing amount for both charities, so we decided to give it another go this year!

For our second event we decided to raise all funds for the Royal United Hospital, for the Cardiology Unit and the new Cancer Centre – our families, as well as those of many of our spinners, have been touched by both areas.

We have been blown away by all the support once again and are delighted that the events have now raised over £23,000!”

Donations from the Spinathon’s will be put towards the purchase of a Balloon Pump on the Cardiology Unit, a lifesaving piece of equipment that is used when patients need to be resuscitated by manipulating the heart to beat using a state of the art computer system. Some of the donations from the 2017 event will also be put towards the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, which is helping to build a state of the art new Cancer Centre that will dramatically transform cancer care for thousands of people in the South West.

Laura Pearce, Senior Events Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, comments: “We are so grateful to Rob, Tash and everyone else who pedaled their way to this incredible fundraising total! The Spinathons are so much fun and bring a real buzz to the city centre on the day, all whilst being a really important way of honoring the lives of loved ones lost and showing support for those currently being treated. Rob and Tash are truly amazing, selfless people and we can’t thank them enough for all their hard work the past two years… organizing 50+ spin bikes and 100+ spinners and then spinning (and instructing!) for 10 hours straight is no easy feat! The money raised will touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients cared for by the RUH every year, and ensure that they receive the very best care, when they need it most.”

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Glastonbury legend starts the 2017 Walk of Life

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis was in Bishops Cannings bright and early on Saturday to give charity walkers a send off they deserve at the start of a marathon hike.

A total of 500 people signed up for the Walk Of Life organised by The Forever Friends Appeal at the Royal United Hospital, Bath and raised more than £50,000.

Walk of Life 2017 Michael Eavis

Walk ambassador Mr Eavis was at The Crown pub in the village near Devizes for the 8am start as hikers set off towards the tow path of the Kennet & Avon Canal for their 26.2 mile walk that would take them through Bradford on Avon and finish at the hospital.

Others joined the walk in Bradford to do the final ten miles and were joined by BBC presenter Ali Vowles.

Walk of Life 2017 Ali Vowles

The The Walk Of Life is held each year in memory of Vanessa Kyte from Rudge, near Trowbridge, who died in 2007 seven years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Events and community officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch said: “The walk went incredibly well with Mr Eavis, who is a big supporter of ours, seeing our all day 26.2 mile walkers off at 8am and Ali seeing our afternoon 10 mile walkers off at 1pm.

“Our current fundraising total has just surpassed £50,000 which will go towards our Cancer Care Campaign and other wards and departments in the hospital but there are with more funds coming in by the hour. A final fundraising total will be announced by June.

“We are so grateful to everyone across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire for supporting the 2017 Walk of Life and making it a sold out event.” She was delighted that last year’s total of £40,000 has already been beaten.

Places for the Walk of Life 2018 are already open. To sign up online visit our Walk of Life page – don’t leave it too late or places will sell out.

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500 prepare for charity’s sellout marathon walk

500 individuals across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire are about to put on their walking boots for The Forever Friends Appeal’s popular annual event: the “Walk of Life” this Saturday 13th May, to help raise funds to transform care for patients and their families at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

The Forever Friends Appeal are the primary charity for Bath’s Royal United Hospital who raise vital funds for all wards and departments at the hospital, including their major RUH Cancer Care Campaign, raising a minimum of £8.5 million towards an exceptional  new Cancer Centre at the RUH.

The Walk of Life is a positive walk to celebrate life, created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte. Every year in May, the Walk of Life sees hundreds of people across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Devizes to Bath, raising funds to help transform patient care at the RUH. New for this year, the 2017 Walk of Life will challenge participants to walk a full marathon (26.2 miles) or alternatively 10 miles in the afternoon, along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal. Spaces on the event are no longer available, with places selling out back in March – a first in the event’s history!

Events & Community Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal, Emily Lynch, comments:  “We are so grateful to everyone across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire for supporting the 2017 Walk of Life and making it a sold out event!  We’re very excited for Saturday’s event and can’t wait to congratulate our walkers when they reach the finish line in Bath! Last year’s event raised over £40,000 to help transform care for patients at the RUH – we hope to beat this total in 2017”

Legendary Glastonbury Festival Founder Michael Eavis CBE is the Ambassador of the 2017 Walk of Life, and will attend the start of the event’s new marathon route at 7.30am in Bishops Cannings to meet and greet walkers, before cutting the official starting ribbon at 8am to see walkers on their way along the canal.

Michael says, “The Royal United Hospital in Bath has always been close to my heart, having myself received excellent treatment there in past years. Since 2005 Glastonbury festival has supported The Forever Friends Appeal with various fundraising activities, including our pre-Glastonbury staff annual skittles match”.

The event’s new 26.2 mile route starts at The Crown Inn Pub, situated within the picturesque village of Bishops Cannings, just outside of Devizes. Walkers will depart from The Crown Inn at 8am to travel along the canal, via Bradford on Avon to end at the iconic Holburne Museum in Bath. Some walkers have opted to walk a shorter 10 mile route in the afternoon – from Bradford on Avon to Bath.

Walkers can choose to dedicate their fundraising to the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, or an RUH ward or department of their choice.

Once again the Appeal are thrilled to be working with Kier Construction on the event, who have sponsored the Walk of Life for the past 3 years and who are also working in partnership with the RUH Bath NHS Trust on the redevelopment of the hospital site.

BBC reporter and presenter for Points West Ali Vowles will also be attending Victory Fields in Bradford on Avon to mark the start of the Afternoon 10 mile challenge and see walkers on their way.

The Appeal are now encouraging the general public to attend the event’s finishing location, situated on the front lawn of the Holburne Museum, Bath to cheer walkers across the finishing line!

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