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Hadrian’s Wall trek raises £9,000 for Cancer Centre

A husband’s wish to raise funds for the new Cancer Centre at the RUH has been fulfilled by his wife and group of footsore friends and family. Marilyn Weeks and her group of friends walked the 84-mile length of Hadrian’s Wall in memory her husband Ray, who was treated for cancer at the RUH between 2014 and 2016 before passing away.

They’ve raised £8,966 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign from their week-long coast to coast trek.
Hadrians Wall Trek- Almost There_cropped

Marilyn said: “Ray was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015 following a year of treatment for a non-life threatening form of cancer. During his illness he had received treatment and support from both the RUH and the Macmillan Hospice staff.

“He wanted to give something back for all the help he had received and asked myself and my sister if we would do a sponsored walk to raise money for the new Cancer Centre at the RUH. After he passed away, we decided to walk the Hadrian’s Wall path as we thought this would be challenging and would raise the much-needed funds for the hospital.

“Alongside my sister and I, we had two more relations and four good friends join us on the walk. The whole experience is something the eight of us will all remember. It was emotional, challenging and very rewarding knowing that we were doing it for such a good cause.

“I know my husband would be very proud of us, and grateful to all the family members, friends and strangers who gave us such support during our fundraising events and the walk itself. Thank you everyone.”

Marilyn, her sister Carol, Pam, Caroline, Debbie, Tessa, Kirsteen and Dee presented the cheque for £8,966 to the Forever Friends Appeal at the RUH.

Walkers with cheque cropped

Laura Pearce, Senior Events Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are so thankful to Marilyn and her walking group – fondly known as ‘Ray’s Hadrian’s Wall Walkers.’ They have all worked so hard to achieve so much, not only completing this difficult route but also raising an amazing amount of money along the way. Ray’s memory will benefit so many others affected by cancer, and we hope knowing this provides Marilyn, her family and friends with some small comfort.

Through support from the public and major donations, we continue with our Cancer Care campaign hoping to generate over £9m towards the building. To make a donation or find
out about the new Cancer Centre click here



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Charitable Trust buys life-saving equipment for the RUH

More lives are being saved at the RUH thanks to a new high-tech surgical imaging machine which has been funded by a local Charitable Trust.

The benefactor of the Trust, who wishes to remain anonymous, generously donated £56,000 to The Forever Friends Appeal, so they could buy the much-needed instrument called a BV Pulsera

It’s now in use in the RUH’s Gastroenterology department, which specialises in all aspects of the digestive system, including the upper and lower bowel, liver, and pancreas.  Its main purpose is to take and then display real-time imaging for a range of clinical procedures such as diagnosing and treating biliary and pancreatic cancer as well as gall stone disease. It also allows the operator to place stents across blockages in the oesophagus, and the first part of the small intestines and the colon.

 Tina Thresher, Endoscopy Ward Manager, RUH said:

“It’s a vast improvement on our present equipment. Since it’s been installed in our department it’s already saved two peoples’ lives, including a patient who was in Critical Care who needed a Gastroenterology procedure. As we had the BV Pulsera ready to use, all we had to do was coordinate staff and expertise.

“This surgical imaging instrument is truly lifesaving and we can’t extend our gratitude enough for such a generous donation.”

The BV Pulsera will not only be used for emergency cases, but also for scheduled procedures – and is now linked up to the RUH’s seminar room for use at regional training days to teach other clinicians how to do specialist procedures.

Ben Colleypriest, Consultant in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, RUH said:

“This is a vital piece of equipment that will change people’s lives on a weekly basis. The upgrade from our previous equipment is revolutionary. It has improved the quality of care we deliver to hundreds of patients and opens up new avenues of treatment. We are extremely grateful for the donation.”

 Edward Hassall, Trusts and Foundations Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We’re thrilled to have received this generous support. It means a huge amount to the clinicians in the Gastroenterology Unit. Donations like this, which sit outside our major fundraising campaigns, make a huge difference in helping to support the delivery of high quality healthcare – as well as to save people’s lives. We’re extremely thankful for the kind gift.

“If you’re interested in making a donation to the RUH, we would be delighted to hear from you. To find out more click here.”

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Recycling Group turns points to pounds for NICU

We were delighted to meet the team behind ‘Precious Pouches’ and say thank you for raising over £1,000 for the RUH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Precious Pounches Group pic 2

Set up by Anna and Jess, Precious Pouches is a local collection scheme that recycles baby food pouches and sweet biscuit wrappers (of any brand). The recycling idea was born when Anna’s daughter Mia started eating baby food from pouches and Anna (being the recycling queen that she is!) started looking into how to recycle them and with the help of Sam who later joined the team and their friends, the scheme began.

Thanks to a company partnership between Terra Cycle, Ella’s Kitchen and McVitties,  Precious Pouches earns points which they chose to convert to donations for the RUH’s NICU – a place close to their hearts as Mia, Jess’ son Ayrton and Sam’s son Michael spent time on the unit.

If you’d like to get involved and start recycling Precious Pouches have a number of drop-off points in the local area:

-Sainsbury’s Odd Down (in the baby food section)

-Tesco’s Weston Village (by the notice board)

-Weston Children’s Centre (reception area)

-Parkside Children’s Centre (reception area)

-St John’s Bath Toddler Group (Thursday mornings)

-Peasedown house location (available on request)

For more information, check out Precious Pounches on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2zjnNWi

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Run for the RUH in 2018 Bath Half – places available

People who have missed out on a general entry place in next year’s Bath Half can sign up and run for The Forever Friends Appeal. We have a limited number of charity places still available for the race which takes place on Sunday 4 March 2018.

Kathryn French. Bath Half 2018 EL edit

Laura Pearce, Senior Events Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“If you’re interested in running one of the best half’s in the country (and our local!), then join our team today. By running for the RUH, every step you take will help support patients when they need it most. The money you raise will make it possible for us to fund additional equipment, research and innovations, as well as finishing touches and extras that go above and beyond what standard NHS funding can provide.

“When you join our team, you can choose to support any ward or department that’s close to your heart or one of our major projects – RUH Cancer Care Campaign or RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

Kathryn French (pictured above), aged 34 from Hilperton said:

“I’ve signed up to run for The Forever Friends Appeal in the 2018 Bath Half to say thank you to the staff at the RUH for being there for my family in our hours of need. They gave incredible care to my mum who suddenly passed away earlier this year, two days after I’d run this year’s Bath Half.

“My mum only spent 24 hours in the Critical Care Unit at the RUH. I sat by her bedside during this time, and watched all the incredible staff go about their daily tasks. They were all so kind and attentive and even let my dad and I stay the night in a room next to the ward.

“In what was the worst 24 hours, they tirelessly saw to our every need and kept us well informed right until the precious end. It was these incredible people that prompted me to sign up for the 2018 Bath Half and I will be honoured to wear my vest with pride on the day and hopefully raise the much needed funds to help give something back to the Critical Care Unit at the RUH.”

To run for us, The Forever Friends Appeal, places cost £35 and runners will need to raise a minimum sponsorship of £175. Laura Pearce said:

“All team members will receive a free RUH running vest, a fundraising pack with advice, tips and a sponsorship form as well as training support and the biggest cheers and encouragement on the day to help you cross the finish line.”

Sign up here to today or contact our Events Office for more information, call: 01225 821535.

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Beckington Ball raises £29K for RUH Cancer Centre

Proceeds raised at the prestigious Beckington Ball have been generously donated to The Forever Friends Appeal. A cheque for £29,000 has been donated to the RUH’s pioneering new Cancer Centre which will provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment to thousands of patients treated at the RUH.

Beckington Ball cheque presentation

The Beckington Ball is a biennial event held near Frome. It aims to bring local businesses together, large and small to raise funds for good causes.  The Beckington Ball Committee includes Chris Weare, Ang Allen and Dan Gulliford, as well as other volunteers who organise the event. Tickets for the 2017 ball sold out within 24 hours.

Chris Weare, Beckington Ball Committee member said:

“Overall, the event was an overwhelming success and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came on the night and showed their support. We raised funds in a number of different ways; from sponsoring tables to donating prizes for the raffle draw, the generosity just kept coming. We also had an auction of promises with prizes ranging from day trips to local experience events.

“I’d also like to thank Justin Thorner and the team at Wainwrights for being our lead sponsor and showing their support and to the Appeal’s Warminster and District RUH Fundraising Group for their help. It was a heart-warming event and wonderful to see people’s response to supporting such a worthy local cause.”

Claudia Hickin, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are completely overwhelmed by the generosity and would like to thank The Beckington Ball Committee for donating the funds towards our Cancer Care campaign.

“In recognition for fundraising over £50,000 in two years, the Beckington Ball Committee are Principal Community Partners of The Forever Friends Appeal, meaning they will have a naming opportunity for one of the specialist areas or departments within the new Cancer Centre.”

Through support from the public and major donations, The Forever Friends Appeal continues its Cancer Care campaign hoping to generate over £9m towards the building. To make a donation or find out about the new Cancer Centre click here

Photo above: left to right: Terry Hickmott (member of Warminster and District RUH Fundraising Group), Chris Weare, Big Ted, Annie Hickmott (member of Warminster and District RUH Fundraising Group) and Justin Thorner

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Turf Cutting ceremony marks the start of new build

To mark the start of the major building works for the RNHRD and Therapies Centre, an official turf cutting ceremony was held today at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

The RNHRD and Therapies Centre, costing c£16m to build, will house many of the services currently located at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and in the RUH, namely rheumatology, therapies and pain management services.

Benefactors Andrew and Christina Brownsword have pledged up to £1m to match every pound donated to the Forever Friends Appeal £2m campaign towards the cost of the new building. Today they made the first cut into the ground with David Snell, Operations Manager from Kier Construction, Brian Stables, Trust Chairman, and Ed Jackson, rugby star and ambassador for the Forever Friends Therapies campaign, to get construction work underway.

Andrew Brownsword said:

“Seeing this building work commence is a special moment. My family and I are delighted to be supporting this important project which will benefit so many people in our local community. We hope our gift of £1m towards the Centre will provide the best care for patients and will encourage others who are in a position to give, to support this wonderful hospital too.”

Other donors including representatives from Santander, who have chosen the Appeal as their charity of the year, Bath Rugby players and staff from Kier Construction joined RUH staff at the turf cutting ceremony.

Turf Cutting with RUH FFA hoardings

Brian Stables, Trust Chairman, RUH said:

“The start of the construction work marks a key milestone for the Trust. This building will make a major impact on the services the hospital can provide to some 25,000 people each year. It has been designed in conjunction with patients, staff and architects, and will include a large hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment, and a biologics treatment space to support treatment, recovery, wellbeing and the management of long-term conditions.

“It’s an amazingly generous gesture made by the Brownsword Charitable Foundation and we would very much welcome help from the public to achieve our target of raising £2m.”

The RNHRD and Therapies Centre is being built close to the main entrance of the RUH and will be predominately an outpatient centre providing treatment, care and education for patients to recover from episodes of illness or injury, or to manage their long-term condition.

Ed Jackson, former Bath rugby player said:

“As a spinal injury patient, I have learned just how important the environment is to wellbeing and recovery, having spent so much time lying down and staring at the ceiling, and unable to leave the hospital setting. Therapeutic environments, calming surroundings and mental stimulation are hugely beneficial. Staff at the RUH do an amazing job, and I believe that they should be supported by working in the right environments to help them to deliver the best level of care too.

We need the public’s support to help raise the funds needed to build this innovative and therapeutic new centre. If you can support the campaign, please visit the Appeal’s website to find out more.”

David Snell, Operations Manager, Kier Construction said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the Trust on such a unique building which will serve people of all ages and needs.

“You won’t see much for the next few months with all the work being concentrated at ground level and the building’s foundations. But after the New Year you’ll see some big changes as the walls start to go up. That’s when you’ll see the new Centre is very much a reality.”

 Once building work is completed on the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and services moved, the construction of the new Cancer Centre will begin which is part of the major redevelopment programme to make the RUH fit for the future.

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2018 Calendar: it’s a big year out and about for Big Ted

What do you get when you put one of Bath’s most recognised figures among some of the city’s most iconic locations? It’s our 2018 charity calendar, featuring Big Ted, that’s what!

On sale now for just £5, the calendar captures Big Ted, the cuddly mascot for the RUH fundraising charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, popping up in twelve of Bath’s best-known venues from January to December.

Big Ted launches calendar2


Big Ted dons a toga at the Roman Baths, chills out at a game of Petanque in Queen Square, scrums down with Bath Rugby and takes tea at Sally Lunn’s house. You’ll also catch him soaking up Bath culture in The Circus, on an open-top tour bus, by Pulteney Weir and with an Abbey Churchyard busker.

Ted at Pulteney Bridge

Claudia Hickin, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“One of our community supporter groups, The Bath RUH Fundraising Group came up with the idea of producing a calendar to help raise funds for RUH Cancer Care campaign. We’re so pleased with how it looks and would make a fun gift for Christmas too.

“We had so much fun taking the photos with Big Ted. He was well behaved and loved meeting Bath Rugby players Beno Obano and Anthony Perenise.  We’d also like to thank Councilor Rob Appleyard for letting Big Ted in for free at the Bath Pump rooms, it was such a fun day.”

The Forever Friends Appeal 2018 charity calendar will be on sale at Bath’s Christmas Market at the charity chalet stall on 5th December, at the cake sale in the RUH Atrium on 8 December, the New Oriel Hall Larks sale in the evening of the 8th December. Alternatively, call Claudia, our Senior Community Fundraiser on 01225 825825 to get your copy ready for 2018.

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Buy a hot drink in the RUH and help raise funds for the charity

Did you know – if you’ve bought a hot drink in a disposable cup at the RUH, you’ve helped towards a donation being made to our Appeal?

Jo Common, Corporate Officer for the Appeal explains:

“For every box of disposable cups the RUH buys from Fulfil UK, they’ve pledged to make a donation to our Appeal. This is a great way for people to help us raise funds as the disposable cups are used in all of our cafes, including the coffee shop in the Atrium, the Lansdown restaurant and Oasis coffee bar. So the more drinks bought, the more money is raised – thank you!”

Buy a hot drink

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Leanne braves skydive & raises £900 for RUH Cardiac Ward

It’s not easy to face your fear, and that’s just what Leanne did last weekend when she jumped out of a plane to do a skydive, free falling at over 120mph! Leanne explains:

Leanne skydiving2

“I wanted to raise money to help support the RUH Cardiac ward and help other patients, in memory of my  father, Stephen who suffered from heart disease.

“The staff on the Cardiac ward helped care for my father over the last few years, going above and beyond to help make his life more manageable with his condition. In the last few weeks of his life, the staff made it possible for me to be able to stay by my dad’s side, day and night, and offered me so much hospitality that I am so grateful for.

“My dad always said the nurses and staff where angels and he was always so grateful for all they did to help him and us through all the difficult times. A simple ‘Thank You’ is not enough for what the NHS have done…. so I took on one of my biggest fears (heights!) to support an amazing charity and do it in honour of my father!”

Leanne and her dad2

We say a huge thank you to Leanne for raising over £900, which will go towards patients’ care on the Cardiac ward.

If you’d like to do a skydive and experience that once-in-a-lifetime adrenalin rush to raise funds for our hospital, please click here: http://bit.ly/1IeZgul

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