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Friendly faces help transform dementia care at the RUH

This Dementia Action Week (21-27 May) we are celebrating the Friendly Faces Project which is helping patients who are living with dementia.

A volunteer dementia project launched by Sir Tony Robinson at the RUH is celebrating a year of success in transforming the care of patients living with the condition.

In its first twelve months the Friendly Faces Project has recruited volunteers from all walks of life. More than half are students – many from the University of Bath studying Applied Clinical Psychology and Art Therapy.

The project’s three-year aim is to provide patients with outstanding dementia care, with the vision of becoming the leading dementia friendly hospital in England by 2020. To do this, the project will provide an estimated 160 volunteers on the hospital’s older person units and 4,800 hours of care over the three years.

Chris Dyer, RUH Consultant Geriatrician and project lead said:

“Just having a friendly face around and someone there to keep you company is proven to be really beneficial to patients living with dementia. This is why the friendly faces project is so important. By helping reassure and calm patients, our volunteers can reduce a patient’s anxiety and stress.

“Today is about celebrating our success so far, and thanking our volunteers who give up their free time and have so far spent over 980 hours with our patients who have dementia. We’re really passionate about becoming a dementia friendly hospital to make patients with dementia feel relaxed and valued whilst being treated on wards throughout the hospital.”

The Friendly Faces Project is funded by The Forever Friends Appeal and works in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership and Research Institute for Care of the Elderly (RICE).

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Tracy Williams, Side by Side Hospital Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Society said:

“Dementia Action Week this year is all about the small actions people can take to make a big impact on the lives of people affected by dementia. Our volunteers are a great example of people taking action. They’re wonderful, they sit and talk to patients who may be feeling lonely or perhaps restless or agitated as they wait for their relatives, to be seen by a doctor or for treatment. By inviting patients to join in with art and craft activities, our volunteers can start a friendly conversation and provide the comfort and support which some patients need.

“Volunteering is very rewarding and we are looking to recruit more volunteers to help us expand our service. If you have spare time in the week or at weekends and are good at listening and enjoy helping others, please get in touch by calling 01225 396678 or email.

We are looking to expand the project to reach more patients who are living with dementia and at the RUH and we need support from the public to do this. If you’re interested in making a donation to the Friendly Faces Project please click here.

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Community Group raises £50,000 for RUH Cancer Centre

A group of devoted residents from Chippenham, Melksham, and Calne have raised an incredible £50,000 for our Cancer Care Campaign.

Known collectively as the ‘Your Local RUH Cancer Care Fundraising Group’, the group meets every month to plan fundraising activities and events for the Cancer Care campaign.

Bev Viveash, who lives in Melksham and chairs the group said:

“Most of us have been touched by cancer in some way.  I lost my daughter to cancer at just 28 years old. While she was having treatment the cancer campaign launched in 2013 and she suggested we did something to help. The care for her was fantastic, but both of us realised how much the RUH needs a new cancer centre. So, it all started five years ago with an event at home which we organised together.

“Over the years I have made so many friends and have met some amazing people, and to see us reach £50k is amazing. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and made donations over the years, but we’re not stopping and are continuing to fundraise for the campaign.’’

In recognition of fundraising £50,000, the group is now a Principal Community Partner of the Appeal and will be invited to name one of the specialist rooms in the new Cancer Centre.

Back in February this year, we announced we had reached the minimum fundraising target of £8.5 million. But, stressed we will continue the Cancer Care Campaign as many of our donors and supporters want to keep going to ensure the new Cancer Centre would be truly special in its design, facilities and equipment.

Lauren Noble, our Community Fundraiser said:

‘’We are very grateful to the members of the Your Local RUH Cancer Care Fundraising Group. The group is made up of the most wonderful and kind-hearted people, who work so hard to raise funds for the Cancer Care Campaign. I always look forward to their events and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year. Thank you all so much.’’

Fundraising in the fight against cancer never stops. The Appeal is raising funds to ensure that the very best care, treatment and quality of environment are available to patients and their families at the RUH.

If anyone is interested in joining the Your Local RUH Community Fundraising Group or volunteering for The Forever Friends Appeal, please contact Community Fundraiser, Lauren on 01225 824013 or email: lauren.noble1@nhs.net


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Walkers step up to raise money for the RUH

Almost 500 people joined us and took part in this year’s Walk of Life event on Saturday 12 May. It was a fantastic day – the weather conditions were perfect; not too hot or cold and the rain stayed away.

Glastonbury festival founder, Michael Eavis cut the ribbon at the start of the walk in Bishop Cannings, near Devizes.

At Bradford on Avon, the Mayor and Ali Vowles from BBC Wiltshire Radio wished the 10 mile walkers the best of luck on their way to Bath.

The Mayor of Bath joined us to help hand out some of the finisher medals at the Holbourne Museum in Bath.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered and helped us on the day as we couldn’t have done it without you. I’d also like to thank our sponsors of the ‘Goodness stops’ who were handing out well earnt treats and refreshments and the public who cheered our walkers on to keep going.

“It’s been lovely to read the comments on our social media and it’s was clear to see how much the day meant to so many of our walkers. We’ve calculated that over 8,200 miles were walked along the canal in support of RUH patients.”

Walkers are asked to raise a minimum of £100 for RUH patients and their families and they could choose where their fundraising goes; either to the Cancer Care campaign, new Therapies Centre or another area in the RUH.

This year’s Walk of Life event has already raised a huge amount and once people have paid in their sponsorship, we’ll announce the total in coming weeks, so watch this space.

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Dying Matters Week, 14 – 20 May 2018

People are being urged to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement with staff at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in support of Dying Matters Awareness Week.

In 2018, the week will run from 14th to the 20th of May and the theme is “What Can You Do… in your community?” and events are being held outside the RUH as well as in wards and departments at the RUH to encourage discussion among staff, patients and families about end of life issues.

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

“Dying Matters is not just about a person’s final days of life. It’s about the weeks, months and years before, and it’s really important to be aware and understanding of the needs of people however close they are to the end of life.

“Every minute someone in England dies, but many people still feel uncomfortable about talking about end of life. Talking about our own wishes for care at the end of life, sharing what is important to us with our loved ones, our GP and those supporting us can help us to get the care and support that we need, where we want it, at the end of our lives.”

During the week, representatives from across the Trust including The Forever Friends Appeal will visit the wards and provide patients and their families with information about making a Will, talking about your funeral wishes, considering registering as an organ donor, and telling your loved ones your wishes.

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

“This week is an opportunity for us to talk about the importance of putting your affairs in order by making a Will, how people can leave the RUH a gift in their Will and we are inviting people to come to our Spiritual Care Centre next Saturday for a service of remembrance, which will start at 3pm.”

For more information please click on the links below:

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Join us to celebrate the life of your loved one

Please come along and join us at our  ‘Time of Reflection’ service on Saturday 26 May. This poignant event provides everyone with a time to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one in a very special way.

Families, friends, colleagues and carers are all invited to get together to remember, cherish and relive the many happy memories of very special lives through the service led by the RUH Chaplains.

The service will take place in the Spiritual Care Centre located on the ground floor, Zone D, Princess Anne Corridor, RUH at 3pm. We do hope you are able to come along and look forward to seeing you.

If you are unable to attend on 26 May, you may like to consider coming to the following:

  • Flower to Remember Service – sponsor and plant a bulb in the Spiritual Care Garden in memory of a loved one on Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 3pm
  • Service of Light – sponsor and dedicate a light on the tree, in loving memory of a loved one on Friday 7th December 2018 at 11am

All donations made will support the RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

If you would like more information about these events please email jan.witt@nhs.net or call 01225 825819

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