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Minerva’s Owls help raise funds for the RUH

A new public art sculpture trail is coming to Bath this summer, and the RUH’s new Cancer Centre is benefit from the proceeds.

Minerva’s Owls of Bath will see a giant flock of brightly-decorated Owls and smaller Owlets swoop into the city and surrounding towns from 25 June – 10 September 2018.

Staff from the Oncology and Therapy departments as well as our friendly mascot, Big Ted were delighted to meet the Owl and Owlet which swooped to the hospital yesterday for a quick photo before heading off to their artists for decoration.

Each Owl will be sponsored by a local business, school or community group, and individually painted by talented artists and designers.  The Owls will even have interactive beacons that send information about each owl to people’s phones as they approach.

At the end of the event, a special ‘Owls Hoot Farewell’ weekend will be held on 6-7 October in front of the Royal Crescent, before the final charity auction at The Assembly Rooms on 17 October.

70% of the profits from the event will go to the Cancer Care Campaign with the remaining 30% shared between Bath Young Carers, The Roman Baths Archway Project and the UK Little Owl Project.

There’s still time for businesses to sign up as Owl sponsors, and benefit from association with this high-profile initiative.  To find out more, click here  or call Owl HQ on 01225 340697.

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Kevin’s story – why therapies matter

“My name is Kevin and in 2013 I had a subarachnoid haemorrhage, basically a bleed on the brain. It was on one Saturday morning when I noticed that I felt a little dizzy and sick so I had a lie down. I then went to the bathroom and was sick and within seconds I was sweating and I told my girlfriend that I felt really ill. She called for an ambulance, and they decided to take me to the RUH to stabilise me before transferring me to the specialist brain unit at Frenchay.

“The subarachnoid haemorrhage meant that a blood vessel had burst at the base of my brain and the blood that should’ve gone to my brain went between my brain and skull and in turn, caused a stroke. I was in intensive care and my parents were warned it was 50/50 whether or not I took a turn for the better or worse.

“I had an operation to release the pressure on my brain and to drain off the excess fluid. My parents were warned to expect me to have some kind of disability from the bleed and stroke but that it was too early to tell what that would be.

“Fast forward to the time when I got back at the RUH for Physio, Pete, one of the Physiotherapists put me on a tilt table, which is basically a table that’s supports you upright as I’d been lying down for so long. He also put me in a large soft wheel chair,a bit like an arm chair on wheels and took me outside, as at this point I’d not been outside for maybe six or seven weeks and he just chatted to me.

“During Physio we worked on enabling me to walk unaided. The stroke affected my eyesight and my left side felt weak and heavy. However, my legs worked, but I just couldn’t balance and I would walk as if I was drunk because my eyesight was damaged. Although I can see, my sight is blurred and out of focus and lacks sharpness as my brain was damaged, meaning it doesn’t correctly read the signals from my eyes, but with therapy I started to learn how to manage and cope.

“We also did some work playing catch with a soft ball as my distance and depth perception was affected. Jenny, the Occupational Therapist also helped and we did some day to day tasks like making a sandwich and making a hot drink. The fact that I can walk and live on my own is, in part thanks to all the work of Pete and Jenny, they both helped me as the Physio part of a recovery is just as important as the medicine side of being ill.

“The quality of my recovery has been in part due to the Physio and Occupational therapy I received at the RUH as well as the small amount of Physio & Occupational therapy from my community hospital after I’d returned home.

“It’s taken me a long time to adapt and come to terms with the changes and I struggled for some time.  The bleed has turned out to be from a gene defect which causes my blood vessels to be weaker and more fragile than normal and also affects the connective tissue between my joints. It can’t be treated and the likelihood is that it’ll happen again across the course of my life, but with regular scans and various different tablets we can hopefully lessen the chances.

“The Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy I received has certainly helped me to be where I am today and it’s taken some time to get here, but I’m positive about life now and although I need a little help with some things, I live independently, which was very important to me to get back to being able to live on my own.

“I owe a lot to the surgeons, the nurses who cared for me and to the therapists who helped me get where I am today.

“I’d like to thank them all as due to the severity of the bleed I’m extremely lucky to be here and to have made this recovery.  I have even been described by my neurologist as ‘a complete success’.”

Inspired by Kevin’s story? If you’d like make a donation towards the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, click here or donate through JustGiving.com

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Local businesses show support for Walk of Life event

Local businesses, Kier Construction and M J Church are lead sponsors for our Walk of Life event, a 26.2 mile walking event which raises funds for the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath.

This year’s Walk of Life takes place on Saturday 12 May and starts in Bishops Cannings, finishing in Bath, taking walkers along the Kennet and Avon Canal. There’s also an option for people to walk a 10 mile distance from Bradford on Avon to Bath in the afternoon.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“The Walk of Life is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the life and memories of loved ones and we’re thrilled to have support from M J Church and Kier Construction as it’s a huge event for us to manage with the number of participants growing each year.

“As well as being sponsors and providing transport and porter loos, staff from both companies will be volunteering on the day to guide our walkers along the route. They’ve also entered teams in our corporate challenge; helping to raise further funds for the Appeal, so we can’t thank them enough for their support. We hope to see another sell-out year, smashing last year’s total for patient care at the RUH.”

Carol Heneghan, Marketing Manager, M J Church said:

“We are very pleased to be joint sponsors for the Walk of Life event. Our corporate challenge team will be raising funds for the new Cancer centre as it’s a cause close to our hearts. A family member, friend colleague and longtime supporter of the Appeal sadly passed away last year. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and we want to continue fundraising for the Cancer centre in his memory.”

David Snell, Operations Director, Kier Construction said:

“We are pleased to be able to lend our support again to this year’s Walk of Life.  Visitors to the hospital will know that we are in the process of constructing the new Therapies Centre and our site team, along with many other staff, will be taking part in the Walk of Life event.”

Along with general entry places, local businesses can sign up for the Walk of Life Corporate Challenge offering colleagues, clients and suppliers a unique team building opportunity to fundraise together. The Walk already has over 120 people registered for this year’s event with a limited number of spaces; we would like to encourage interested walkers to sign up on our website as soon as possible.

General entry places and corporate challenge places cost £20 and everyone who signs up will receive a   t-shirt, medal and refreshments along the way. Glastonbury festival founder, Michael Eavis CBE will be there to officially mark the start of this year’s Walk of Life in Bishop Cannings, near Devizes.


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New sleeper chairs & beds for families staying overnight at the RUH

A delivery of sleeper chairs and beds for patients’ families and carers has arrived at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath, thanks to a local man who left a gift in his Will towards The Forever Friends Appeal.

Thanks to the generosity of the late Harold Cary, a retired local farmer, 21 sleeper chairs and guest beds have been purchased and are available on wards and in departments for families whose loved ones are in critical care, at the end of life, have dementia or have a learning disability.

Helen Meehan, Lead Nurse Palliative Care and End of Life, RUH said:

“We’d like to thank The Forever Friends Appeal and acknowledge the benefactor for enabling our wards to support family members. The sleeper chairs and beds will really make a difference, providing comfort to families and carers who wish to stay overnight and spend precious time with their loved one.”

The hospital’s William Budd ward, which cares for patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy has also received a sleeper chair from a former staff member and her family who wished to support the unit in memory of their mother, Caroline Rubery who passed away in November last year. Her daughter Vanessa said:

“My mother worked at the RUH for 16 years and was a passionate supporter of the Trust. During her illness, she received excellent care as an inpatient on William Budd, and it was her wish that any money raised through the collection at her funeral should be used to buy equipment for the ward.

“The generosity of her friends, colleagues and family has enabled us to buy one of the sleeper chairs which will allow relatives to stay overnight with their terminally ill family member.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who looked after my mother, particularly the members of the Palliative Care team whose hard work ensured that she could spend her last few days at home as she wished.”

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

“We are extremely grateful to Harold Cary for supporting the work of the RUH in this very special way and leaving behind his legacy of care. This is a good example and most importantly, how this type of giving can benefit hundreds of patients, their families and carers in many different areas of care and treatment across the Trust.”

The new sleeper chairs and guest beds are manufactured to meet hospital infection prevention requirements, storage needs and are designed for limited space requirements in ward bays, as well as being robust to meet the demands of frequent use.

If you are thinking about leaving a gift in your Will to support the work of our hospitals or would like more information or speak to someone in confidence to help you come to a decision, please contact Jan Witt, In Memory and Legacy Officer tel 01225 825819 or by email


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