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Over £120,000 raised from Walk of Life

Over £120,000 has been raised for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH), Bath by the walkers who took part in the Walk of Life event organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, the primary fundraising charity for the hospital. The total raised so far is a record amount compared to previous years.

This year, 500 people walked from Bishops Cannings to Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal. Participants chose to walk either the ten mile distance from Bradford on Avon to Bath or the full 26.2 mile marathon to raise vital funds for The Forever Friends Appeal.

Local Bath resident, Justine Elliott, aged 50 took part in this year’s Walk of Life event and has raised an incredible amount – £20,345 for the Appeal. To-date, this is the largest amount raised by an individual who has taken part in the Walk of Life. Justine Elliott said:

“In 2016, the week before Christmas I was diagnosed with cancer and given between six and 18 months to live. When I got the diagnosis I was at stage 4 and was told its terminal. It was truly a life changing time for me, my family and friends. However, it provided an opportunity for me to help others and focus on leaving a legacy that I would feel proud of.

Justine Elliott.WOL.resized

“Since the diagnosis, I’ve had chemotherapy, lifesaving surgery and several procedures at the RUH and I would like to pay back the kindness that the staff and community have shown me. That’s why I’ve chosen to raise funds for the hospital’s new Cancer Centre which will be built in 2018/2019.”

On the day of the Walk of Life, Justine was joined by a number of her friends and family members, some of which came to join her from all over the world to support her with every step.  Justine said:

“My goal was to raise £25,000 for the Walk of Life. Come the day I completed the ten mile walk I had already used five months of my journey time. Ten miles may not seem much to some of you, but after five rounds of chemo it felt like a marathon to me. I was pleased to have achieved it, and I’d like to thank everyone; my friends and family who have helped me towards reaching my target. But, I still want to raise the final amount to reach my goal. Although I may not be here to see the new Cancer Centre built and open for patients, I know that everyone who passes through its doors will benefit immensely from it.”

The new Cancer Centre which will be built at the RUH’s Combe Park site will be a state-of-the-art facility for cancer diagnosis and treatment, transforming care for patients and their families. The Forever Friends Appeal is raising a minimum £8.5m towards the cost of the new Cancer Centre, an estimated at c£28 million.

Emily Lynch, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part this year, whether you walked the marathon or 10 miles, you have helped to transform care for patients and their families at the RUH with every step.

Donations are still trickling in from the event and we’d like to urge people to send theirs in if they haven’t already. We are especially grateful to Justine for her incredible fundraising for the new Cancer Centre at the hospital – she is truly inspirational.”

To find out more about the RUH Cancer Centre and its fundraising campaign visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/ruhcancercentre. If you would like to make a donation please click here

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Take the plunge, be rescued by Newfoundland dog

Members of the public are invited to take the plunge at Portishead Marina in Bristol and experience a water rescue by a 14 stone hero, a Newfoundland Dog to raise funds for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH), Bath.

Taking place on Saturday 30 September, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience an ‘at sea’ Newfoundland water rescue. Newfoundland dogs have been the St. Bernard’s of the sea for hundreds of years. They are natural swimmers and have webbing between their paws to help them swim, making it an impressive sight to see them in action.

This is the first year when both the RUH’s fundraising charity, The Forever Friends Appeal and Newfound Friends, the Bristol-based charity have teamed up to offer an exciting event to raise vital funds towards the Appeal’s Cancer Care Campaign as well as wards and departments at the RUH.

Sign up today online

Emily Lynch, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We’re excited to be working with Newfound Friends and we’re now asking people to sign up online to take part in our first Newfoundland water rescue day. Anyone aged 8 years old and up can take part, including non-swimmers as everyone will be given a life-jacket on the day.

“If you want to take part, all we ask for is a £30 registration fee to secure your place and for you to pledge to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship money. You can choose to dedicate your fundraising to a ward or department in the RUH or towards the new RUH Cancer Centre.”

Participants will be provided with a wet suit (hire fee included in entry fee) and will be taken out into the marina by boat. Once they are in the water, one of the Newfoundland dogs will join you to take you safely back to the boat.

Amy Hedges and her eight year old daughter Zara, have already signed up to take the plunge. Amy said:

“When my daughter Zara heard about the Newfoundland Water Rescue event she immediately asked if she could do it; as she’s only eight years old both of us are going to take part and we can’t wait.

“I’m so proud of Zara, not only is she brave but she also has autism so to do something like this is truly inspirational. We’re now encouraging others to come along to Portishead Marina and join us for a day of fun for all the family. These adorable dogs do such a wonderful job in helping save peoples’ lives and it’s lovely to know that Zara’s fundraising will also help save the lives of patients being treated at Bath’s RUH.”

To take part, simply sign up at here or call: 01225 821535. Book early to avoid disappointment as there are limited places for this event. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these amazing dogs and be rescued one of them.

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Make or update your Will at a reduced cost

The Forever Friends Appeal, the fundraising charity for the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath has teamed up with fifteen solicitor firms across Bath, North East Somerset and Wiltshire to help the public plan for the future and have a Will written at a reduced cost.

The ‘Make a Will’ month initiative will run for one month only. This September, people will have the opportunity to put their affairs in order by having a single standard Will written for £100 or for two standard Mirror Wills or joint Wills, it will cost £150.

The fees raised through the Make a Will month initiative will be donated to the Forever Friends Appeal, helping the RUH continue to provide the high quality care it gives to its patients.

Jan Witt, In Memory & Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“It may come as a surprise that fewer than half of the population have an up-to-date Will, despite its importance in offering you peace of mind and security for both you and your family. Therefore, we’d like to urge people to take advantage of this Will writing offer to ensure your savings and possessions go to the people you love and care for.

“Make a Will month is such a great initiative and as well as supporting your local hospital, you can request that the fee is donated to a specific area of the hospital if you have a special connection to a ward or department in the RUH we can make sure they benefit from it.”

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Sarah Loveless, Partner of Burningham and Brown Solicitors said:

“It is not any easy topic to address and is often put at the bottom of the to-do list, but there are various changes in life that may mean you should consider making or updating your Will.  A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die, and without a Will the process can be more time consuming, costly and stressful.

“Writing a Will is especially important if you have children or other family members who depend on you financially.  If you don’t write a Will everything will go under the Rules of Intestacy defined by the law, which is not always the way you might want your estate to be distributed.  You may also wish to consider appointing guardians for young children.

“When you book an appointment to discuss your Will requirements we will provide you with full legal advice and everything will be explained clearly.  So don’t put it off until a later date, have a Will written professionally this September so that your assets are left to the people and causes you care about, in accordance with your wishes.”

Interested in having a Will written? Simply contact one of the participating solicitor firms listed here

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Local accountancy firm raises £10,000 for RUH Children’s Ward

Wells-based accountancy firm Chalmers HB has raised an impressive £10,252.00 for the Children’s Ward at the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath by taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal Walk of Life.

Twenty seven employees from the firm donned their walking boots and took part in the event in support of a colleague who sadly lost two grandchildren under the age of 22 months in 2016. Both children had suffered from a genetic condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which makes the muscles weaker and causes problems with movement.

Company Director for Chalmers HB, Caroline Bannell, comments:  “We wanted to do the Walk of Life to raise funds for the RUH’s Children’s Ward as the doctors and nurses played a vital role in the care of both children. We are delighted to have raised this amount and would like to thank our wonderful clients, colleagues, friends and families for sponsoring us.”

Every year, the RUH’s fundraising charity The Forever Friends Appeal organises the Walk of Life which starts in Bishops Cannings and finishes in Bath.  This year, to boost competition between teams from local businesses, the Charity organised Corporate Challenge Awards.

Caroline continued:  “When we were told that we had won three of The Forever Friends Appeal Corporate Challenge Awards we were over the moon. Plus, we’re in the running for the Most Money Raised Award. We’ll find out if we’ve won the award in mid-July, so watch this space!”

Jo Common, Corporate Officer for The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We’d like to thank everyone from Chalmers HB who took part, and are delighted to now welcome them on board as a Corporate Partner for the Appeal. It was a great team effort and they were such fun to be with on the day.  The money they’ve raised, along with all the funds raised from the Walk of Life, will go towards transforming care for our patients here at the RUH. I’d like to personally thank everyone who took part and donated.”

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