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Book your place now for Walk of Life 2019

Early bird places are now open for the popular sponsored canal walk, the Walk of Life, which will take place on Saturday 11 May 2019. Until Monday 3 December, people can book their place at a discounted rate for just £20.

The Walk of Life takes place along the Kennet & Avon Canal and is organised by the Appeal. It started over a decade ago and thousands of people from all across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire have stepped out along the towpath to support patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

This year, 500 people took part, raising an incredible £110,000 which has benefited a variety of wards and departments.

People can choose to take part in either the walking marathon (26.2 miles approx.) from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes to Bath or the afternoon 10 mile walk which joins in Bradford on Avon, before reaching the finish line at the Holbourne Museum, Bath.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“This year’s Walk of Life is going to be special, as it’s one of our flagship events that will mark our 20 years of fundraising for the RUH. Michael Eavis CBE will also be coming back to officially mark the start of the walk, so we’re inviting people to sign up now.

“Whether you walk in memory of a loved one, to show your support for someone receiving treatment, or simply to take on the challenge, every step will make a huge difference to the hundreds of thousands of patients cared for at the hospital every year. We all may need treatment or care at some point in our lives, whether it is for a medical condition, injury or giving birth and the RUH is there for us, when it matters most.

“By walking and fundraising for the RUH, it means that we can continue to make a real difference to areas within the hospital by funding life-saving equipment, improving the hospital environment and supporting our research department – over and above what the NHS can provide.

“So, please do something amazing – book your place for the Walk of Life and support your local hospital.”

Liz Galpin, 37, from Hilperton who has walked the walk the last few years and will be taking part again next year 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 mum. I walked because it’s an amazing cause to raise money for, as the hospital helped me and will help so many others in the future.  Although the walk requires training and is exhausting, it is so worthwhile, such a friendly atmosphere and is really good fun.”

The event is open to both men and women and you can choose to support any area of the RUH that is close to your heart, alternatively sponsorship will go where it is needed most to benefit patients.

Sign up today, by clicking here

The Walk of Life was originally created with and in memory of Vanessa Kyte, who passed away from cancer in 2007. Every year, Vanessa’s family and friends love seeing the Walk grow and help raise even more funds for the cause that was so close to Vanessa’s heart. The Walk of Life 2019 is being kindly sponsored by Kier Construction and MJ Church.


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Enter our Christmas raffle and win £1,000!

Enter our Christmas raffle and you could win £1,000! We have lots of amazing prizes up for grabs, so don’t miss the opportunity and buy your tickets today.

Our raffle tickets cost just £1 and you can buy a book for £5. All the funds raised in the draw will go towards our major campaigns and Special Appeals to make a real difference to the patients who are treated and cared for by the Royal United Hospitals each year.

We’ve got some fabulous runner up prizes in the draw including:

  • Dyson Hot / Cool Fan
  • Cannondale Bike
  • LG Smart TV
  • The Manor Golf for 4 + Buggy
  • £150 Red Letter Days Experience voucher
  • £100 River Island voucher
  • Minirig Mini
  • Samsung Tablet
  • DeLonghi Coffee Machine
  • Kindle Fire
  • Bailbrook House Dinner for 2
  • 2x Match Tickets – Bath Rugby + Signed Rugby T-shirt
  • Taste of Bath Hamper (worth £50)
  • The Ivy Brasserie Breakfast Treat for 2
  • Bath Ales Tour for 4 + Case of Sulis Lager (24 cans)
  • Great Western Wine

Richard Gyde, Deputy Head of Fundraising said:

“We hope that people will be inspired to take part in the draw and help us equal the amount raised in previous draws – £20,000. The final amount raised from the draw will go towards our  RNHRD and Therapies Centre, Dyson Cancer Centre and the four Special Appeals, launched this year, which are the Facial Surgery & Orthodontics department, Critical Care, Breast Unit and the Friendly Faces Project.”

Tickets will be on sale in the RUH Atrium (main entrance) between 10am and 4pm from 28th November to 18 December. The prizes will be drawn at 2pm on Tuesday 18 December in the RUH’s Atrium and the winners will be notified on the day. If you would like to help sell the tickets on behalf of the Appeal, please call us on 01225 825961 or email forever.friends@nhs.net to request some more tickets in the post.


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Take on our ‘Space to Smile’ Challenge

Thanks to a local charitable trust, The Forever Friends Appeal has received £100K – a massive boost for one of its Special Appeals which will benefit patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

We are raising a minimum of £250,000 to help fund the new RUH Facial Surgery and Orthodontics department which is being relocated to a different part of the hospital to enable the building of the new Dyson Centre Cancer. The new unit will be modern, bright and have a therapeutic environment for patients being treated for conditions of the face, head, mouth and jaw.

Peter Medlock, from the Medlock Charitable Trust said:

“As a less known but very important cause, we wanted to get behind the Facial Surgery and Orthodontics Special Appeal and give it a boost – so we will match-fund donations up to the value of £100,000 – once an initial £50,000 has been raised for this department. We want to help ensure the charity exceeds its fundraising target to make a greater difference for patients.”

Each year, around 9,900 new patients are treated by staff in the Facial Surgery and Orthodontics Department. They treat patients with complex medical problems such as facial skin cancer, traumatic facial injuries, facial deformity, oral surgery, and orthodontics.

The relocation of the department will ensure that the maxillofacial (head and neck) surgeons can work seamlessly alongside specialists in other fields – such as ear, nose and throat surgeons, clinical oncologists, restorative dentists, and radiologists. It will have modern, enhanced and well-equipped surroundings and the use of natural light, colours and art will help improve patient wellbeing. By incorporating elements that have a tangible effect on healing and providing increased privacy, patients will feel calm when facing what can be a stressful time for them.

The new Facial Surgery and Orthodontics Department will continue to bridge the gap between medicine and dentistry. It is unique compared with other district general hospitals as the RUH offers specialist paediatric dentistry and orthodontics assessments on the same day – giving extra support and care to children and their families.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising said:

“We are very grateful to the Medlock family and their Trust for this support. Whether the public and our supporters can donate now or perhaps in a few weeks’ time over the Christmas period, they will be directly helping to unlock £100,000 for this vital project that cares for some of our most vulnerable patients who can face really difficult conditions affecting the head and neck such as cancer.”

“To promote the match-funding scheme, we’re calling it the ‘Space to Smile’ initiative – if people have experienced or seen the tremendous treatment and care given by staff in this department, we hope that the incentive of seeing their donations doubled will really encourage people to help us.”

There are many ways people can help The Forever Friends Appeal reach their £250,000 fundraising target – donate on our website, send a cheque, take part in one of our fundraising events in 2019 or organise your own fundraising event in your workplace.

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Therapies Matter – £250,000 left to raise

Can you help us make one last push towards reaching our fundraising target of £2m for the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre?

We have £250,000 left to raise for this important new state-of-the-art Therapies Centre which will provide the much-needed therapy services for around 25,000+ patients who are currently treated each year by the combined services at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) known locally as ‘The Mineral Water Hospital’ and the RUH Therapies and Pain Departments.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has made a donation towards this major build that’s taking shape at the RUH. The construction of the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre with its wonderful new hydrotherapy pool facility is well underway and the building’s structure is now becoming prominent at the front of the hospital. If the public can help us raise this last essential £250,000 towards the target, their contributions will be doubled pound for pound by the Brownsword Match Funding Challenge, helping to make the building quite special for the effective treatment of patients.

“Our ‘Therapies Matter’ fundraising campaign has been adopted to convey to the public and supporters the importance of the Therapies, Rheumatology and Pain Management services that are currently located at the RNHRD and at the RUH.

“People understand ‘cancer’, but less is known about the number of patients who are reliant on our therapies services to manage acute injuries, their long term condition or to help them recover from debilitating illness, operations and accidents. You may be a cardiac patient, had a broken hip, a new knee, or be recovering from a stroke and are learning to walk again – so many patient journeys make their way at some point through our therapies facilities, so they matter to everyone in all walks of life. All the support we secure and the money which people raise will really make a huge difference to what we can do with this new facility.”

Due to open in 2019, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre will, under one roof, combine expertise and house many of the Rheumatology, Therapies and Pain Management services that are currently located on two hospital sites.

The new Centre has been designed in conjunction with patients, staff and architects, and will include a large hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym and rehabilitation equipment, garden spaces to exercise, outpatient rooms and a biologics treatment space to support treatment, recovery, wellbeing and the management of long-term conditions.

In 2017, we launched ‘Therapies Matter’ our fundraising campaign featuring real life stories from patients who’ve received therapies from the hospital. Ex-rugby player, Ed Jackson, a spinal injury patient shared his story alongside other patients on how therapies have helped them recover, achieve
personal goals and get back to ‘normal’ life. It has been these stories that have captivated the public’s interest in supporting the Appeal to ensure the RUH provides the much-needed therapy services in a nurturing environment, with dedicated specialist facilities for patients.

Gina Sargeant, Head of Therapies, RUH said:

“We are taking a holistic approach to the provision of the services in the new Centre as we firmly believe in the ability of the environment in which we treat patients to enhance our services, influence clinical outcomes and help patients back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.”

A really good example of this is the design and artwork that is going into the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre including the installation of specially designed windows around the new hydrotherapy pool. Created by artist Chris Tipping (illustrated below), who experienced for himself the impact of hydrotherapy to assist the design, he hopes they will inspire those patients being treated.

There are many ways people can help us reach our £2m fundraising target. To donate £10 text: RUHB10 to 70070 or to make a donation here or via JustGiving.com. Alternatively, you take part in one of our fundraising events in 2019 click here for more details.

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