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Walkers raise over £100,000 for RUH charity

Over £100,000 has been raised for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath, by the walkers who took part in the Walk of Life.

The sponsored canal walk took place on 12 May and on the day, 500 people stepped out along the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath and covered an impressive 8,200 miles.

Many people took on the marathon 26.2 mile challenge from Bishops Cannings near Devizes, which was set off by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis (CBE). Others joined the 10 mile distance from Bradford on Avon. Everyone crossed the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath, welcomed with a celebratory medal and scone treat.

The Walk of Life takes place every year to raise funds for patients and their families at the RUH and gives participants the opportunity to walk in memory of loved ones, to celebrate life, show support for someone receiving treatment at the RUH or simply to take on the challenge. The event first began in 2006, created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, and since then has raised over half a million pounds for the hospital.

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Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“Thank you so much to everyone who took part in the Walk of Life this year and to those that kindly sponsored our walkers. Every step taken and every pound raised means that we can continue to fund extra-special projects, equipment and innovations that will transform care for patients and their families at the RUH.

As our walkers can choose to support any part of the Hospital that is close to their heart, there are so many different areas benefitting from the event – from Cancer Care to Cardiac, the new RNHRD & Therapies Centre to our Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care (NICU) and many more! The money raised will touch the lives of thousands of local people, who need the hospital for so many different reasons.

We’d also like to thank our event sponsors Kier and MJ Church and our wonderful volunteers, who make everything possible on the day.”

Liz Galpin, 37, from Hilperton has taken part in the Walk of Life for the last few years. She said:

“Having received amazing treatment and care at the RUH for Breast Cancer and the RNHRD for Cancer related fatigue, it has meant that I am here today to enjoy life and be a mummy. I walked because it’s an amazing cause to raise money for, and has helped me and will help so many others in the future.  Although the walk takes a lot of training and is exhausting, it is so worthwhile, such a friendly atmosphere and is really good fun.”

A film of this year’s Walk of Life is now available to watch  and registration for next year’s Walk of Life is now open here. For more information call us on 01225 821535.

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Make or update your Will and help support the RUH

Back by popular demand – RUH Will month aims to help the public make or update their Will at a reduced cost. The scheme starts in September and from today the public can book their Will writing appointment at participating solicitor firms.

Eleven solicitor firms across Bath, North East Somerset and Wiltshire are participating and the fees will be donated to The Forever Friends Appeal.

RUH Will month initiative will run for one month only and people will be able to put their affairs in order by having a single standard Will written for £125 or for standard Mirror Wills or joint Wills written for £175.

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.  Often having a Will written can be expensive, therefore, we’d like to urge people to take advantage of this Will writing offer at the reduced rates to ensure your savings and possessions go to the people you love and care for.

“It is easy to take part in this offer, simply call any one of the participating solicitors (listed below) to make an appointment for September and quote ‘RUH Will Month’. At the meeting the solicitor will guide you through the process and ensure that your Will reflects your wishes.

“Make a Will month is an opportunity to support your local hospital and you can request that your fee is donated to a specific area of the hospital if you have a special connection to a ward or department in the RUH.”

David Hill,  Partner and Head of Private Client for Mogers Drewett Solicitors, Bath 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? Contact one of the participating solicitor firms (below) as soon as possible as appointments get booked up in advance.

The participating Bath solicitor firms are: Burningham & Brown Solicitors , Helen Starkie Solicitors, Mowbray Woodwards Solicitors, Mogers Drewett Solicitors, Royds Withy King Solicitors

The participating Wiltshire solicitor firms are: Ames Kent Solicitors, Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors, Farnfields Solicitors, Harris & Harris Solicitors, Mogers Drewett Solicitors

The participating BaNES solicitor firms are: Wards Solicitors and Thatcher & Hallam Solicitors

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Making waves for the RUH Cancer Centre

Thirty aqua-fit ladies have raised over £3,000 in a sponsored aqua-circuits event in memory of a local man, Phill McMinn. The amount will be donated to the new Cancer Centre being built at the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath.

Erica McMinn organised the event in memory of her son, Phill (pictured below), who was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016 and for two years was treated at the RUH until he sadly passed away earlier this year.

The event, which took place at the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, involved  participants using equipment such as weights and specialised floats and moved between various exercise stations for two hours. The event finished with an auction, of which a signed Bath Rugby shirt (donated by Bath Rugby) raised £175. By the end of the day, over £3,000 had been raised for The Forever Friends Appeal Cancer Care Campaign.

Bradford-on-Avon resident, Erica, an aqua-fit instructor said:

“Phill was a fighter and an optimist – he was determined to explore every option in his fight for life. However, the cancer had spread too much to treat and in January 2018 Phill lost his hard-fought and brave battle to Cancer.”

“I decided to support The Forever Friends Appeal and fundraise for the new Cancer Centre as it seemed the most befitting way to not only remember Phill, but also thank the staff at the RUH for all the care and attention they gave him and our family during his battle with Cancer.”

“The support from my regular aqua-fit ladies, as well as the staff at the MacDonald Bath Spa Hotel, has been overwhelming. I chose The Forever Friends Appeal charity as it can make a real difference to patients and their families who are being cared for at the RUH. I have set up a tribute fund in Phill’s name, so I can continue fundraising for a cause close to my heart and keep his memory alive.”

Erica and the group of aqua-fit ladies presented the cheque to the Appeal’s In Memory and Legacy Officer, Jan Witt. She said:

“I could tell by seeing everyone’s faces on the day, how proud all the ladies were of the amount they helped to raise in tribute to Phill. We are so thankful to Erica and her group of friends for raising this amount for the Cancer Centre. Phill’s memory will benefit so many others affected by Cancer and we hope knowing this provides Erica, her family and friends with some comfort.

“Anyone can set up a Forever Fund in the name of a loved one through The Forever Friends Appeal. It gives people the opportunity to come together, pay tribute and celebrate their life in a very personal and positive way, whilst also raising funds and supporting the work of The Forever Friends Appeal.”

For information about how to set up a Forever Fund click here

 

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Actor Kris Marshall thanks volunteers at NHS 70 summer party

During the celebrations of the NHS turning 70 on 5 July, a VIP guest made a special appearance at The Forever Friends Appeal’s Volunteer Party to thank those who have given up their free time to support the hospital’s charity.

Kris Marshall, known for playing loveable Nick Harper in the popular TV series My Family, who also starred in the film Love Actually, and DI Humphrey Goodman in Death in Paradise came and met 70 volunteers at a summer tea party held in a location in Bath.

Kris took the opportunity and talked about his experiences of being cared for by staff at the RUH, spoke about how grateful he is to the NHS and thanked the volunteers saying how delighted he was to be asked to the event on the day of the NHS 70th birthday.

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During the event, Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising highlighted the important work volunteers do and how much they have raised for the Appeal. He said:

“I can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work and commitment. We are very grateful for your support. Tonight, we celebrating some fantastic people who have raised substantial amounts for the Appeal.

“Our major Campaigns for the Cancer Centre and the new RNHRD & Therapies building are going well.  We also continue to raise money to help the hospital’s other specialist, but urgent, needs and we’re encouraging people to get behind (especially if they or their family have been treated in one of the departments) and support our new Special Appeals which are launching this week.  They will mark both the NHS Seventieth and the Appeal’s own 20th Year of Fundraising.

“These Special Appeals will help support important developments in our Facial Surgery & Orthodontics Unit, Breast Unit, Critical Care and our ‘Friendly Faces’ dementia volunteer project.”

Some of the highlights of the evening were recognising the staff and volunteers who run HUGs charity shop on Chelsea road who have raised over £100,000 in the last 5 years for the Cancer Centre, and the Bath Fundraising Group who recently presented the Appeal with a cheque for £10,000.

Individual volunteers were praised too, including Malcolm Pearce, aged 83 who has volunteered for the Appeal since it launched in 1999. Malcolm has helped volunteer at many of the Appeal’s fundraising events, taking part in bucket collections and the charity’s Walk of Life Event.

The evening finished on a high with celebratory applause for reaching the minimum fundraising target of £8.5 million for the Cancer Centre and the continuing fundraising efforts for this Campaign that will ensure the quality and facilities of the new Cancer Centre are as good as they can possibly be – and for a key milestone – the ‘topping out’ the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre which took place this week and for which the Appeal and it volunteers are raising £2m.

We are always grateful to people who can spare time to volunteer for the Appeal, for more information click here.

To view more photos taken at the event, please visit our Facebook page.

 

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Special Appeals marks 20 years of fundraising

As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, we are also marking our twentieth year of fundraising by launching a number of ‘Special Anniversary Appeals’, inviting public support for the NHS at this special time.

The Appeal helps fund major projects to make a real difference to patients and their families being cared for by the RUH – going above and beyond what the NHS can provide. Since 1999, well over £20 million has been raised for the hospital.

The Special Appeals launch comes in the week that staff at the RUH celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS – the perfect opportunity to celebrate the nation’s most loved institutions, appreciate the vital role the service plays in our lives, recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – and highlight how the public can show their support for their local hospital.

The Special Appeals aim to raise significant funds to help further improve some more specialist but important services at the hospital, which are:

 

  • Critical Care Unit – £150,000 towards the upgrading of the Critical Care Unit, with support directed towards its new Patient Service’s systems that will transform and enhance patient care

 

  • The Breast Unit – £450,000 to redevelop and enable expansion of the work of the Unit

 

  • The Friendly Faces Project – £30,000 to complete the funding for a 3-year pilot project supporting patients living with dementia and to ensure its work reaches all wards and departments in the RUH.

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

“First of all, I would like to personally thank our donors, supporters and volunteers who have supported us over the last 20 years – we could not have done it without you. With everyone’s support, we have been able to provide the RUH with valued, life-enhancing equipment and facilities for the benefit of our patients.

“Earlier this year we announced that the minimum £8.5 million fundraising target for the Cancer Centre had been reached – and we are continuing this campaign to ensure that the quality and facilities of the new Cancer Centre are as good as they can possibly be. We are also well on the way towards achieving the £2million needed for the new Therapies Centre at the RUH.

“We also still need to raise money to help with some of the hospital’s other specialist but urgent needs so we’re encouraging people to get behind, especially if they or their family have been treated in one of the departments, and support our Special Appeals – whether that’s taking part in one of our special fundraising events and pledging their sponsorship, making an online donation, fundraising at your place of work – there are plenty of ways people can help support us, just visit our website.”

Throughout 2018, leading up to the Appeal’s official twentieth birthday on 29 June 2019, the fundraising team are planning to celebrate what has been achieved, thank donors, supporters and volunteers whilst promoting both the Special Appeals and its current major campaigns to encourage people to support.

With the anniversary to mark and developments with key projects such as the opening of the new RNHRD & Therapies Centre, the summer of 2019 should be a busy period.

James Scott, Chief Executive, RUH said:

“On behalf of the hospital, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone – whether you’ve seen one of our collection buckets and made a donation, visited the hospital to find out how you can support or given up your free time – your support is valued and very much appreciated.

“We are incredibly proud of the work by The Forever Friends Appeal and what has been achieved during the past 20 years and I hope through our Special Appeals and our future major campaigns, we can continue to make a real difference to these truly deserving areas within the hospital and the patients staff care for. Thank you for your support.”

For information on the Special Appeals and how you can show your support please click here

 

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Topping out ceremony marks key milestone

It was a historic day at the Royal United Hospital, Bath on Wednesday 4 July as the final concrete was laid on the roof, topping out the structure of new RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

The ceremony, a builders’ tradition to mark the highest point of the new building, saw benefactor Christina Brownsword and other donors join staff from Kier Construction and RUH staff to celebrate the important milestone.

The final concrete was laid by Christina Brownsword, who together with her husband has pledged up to £1m to match every pound donated to The Forever Friends Appeal’s Therapies Matter campaign. At the ceremony she said:

“It is a great privilege to have the symbolic task of finishing the roof. 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.”

Due to open next year, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre 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.

Also present at the ceremony was Alan White, from Kingsdown whose sister who sadly passed away in 2016 and left a generous legacy towards the building of the new Therapies Centre. Mr White said:

“My sister, Lynne was a long term patient at the RNHRD and the RUH and was treated for her chronic pain condition. Sadly she passed aged 62, but she would be delighted to know that we have reached this important stage in creating this new centre which will treat many patients in the future.”

James Scott, Chief Executive, RUH said:

“What started six months ago has now taken shape. It’s truly remarkable how much of the building works has been accomplished. This building will have a major impact on the services the hospital provides to some 25,000 people each year.”

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. It 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 illnesses.

David Snell, Operations Director, Kier Construction, said:

“This is an important milestone for the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Working collaboratively with the RUH team, our aim is to create a nurturing environment for patients by delivering first-class specialist facilities.  Kier have vast experience in this field, delivering over £2bn of healthcare facilities over the last 12 years and we look forward to delivering this project that will leave a lasting legacy for the people of Bath.”

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

If you would like to make a donation towards the Therapies Matter campaign to help us reach £2m, please click here

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