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RUH Will writing month raises £25,000

Thanks to the support of solicitor firms in Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire, a total of £25,000 has been donated to The Forever Friends Appeal, the fundraising charity of the Royal United Hospitals, (RUH) Bath.

This incredible amount was achieved by the generosity of 11 solicitor firms who waived their Will writing fees during the annual RUH Will Month scheme, giving people the opportunity to have a Will drawn up professionally at a reduced cost.

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

“We are very appreciative of the generous support and commitment given to us by the solicitors who work extremely hard drawing up hundreds of Wills between them and providing this service free throughout September.

“The majority of the funds raised from last year’s Will month were donated towards the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre that is being built close to the RUH main entrance. It’s fantastic to receive the public’s support for this important build as around 25,000 patients per year are reliant on our therapies services, and we are now calling on the public to help us to the finish line and raise the last £100,000 of the £2m fundraising target.”

One of the committed participants who takes part in the annual RUH Will Month scheme, Partner, Ruth Coles, Wards Solicitors said:

“We are very proud to give our support each year towards this great fundraising initiative for our local hospital and offer our specialist service. Not only does this annual scheme raise awareness of the importance of making a Will and acts as a reminder to the general public to get their affairs in order to give them peace of mind. But, Wards Solicitors are also supporting a worthy charity that not only benefits our local community in general, but also our staff and clients who have or may need to use the services of the RUH in the future.

“By taking part in RUH Will Month, we have also met and worked alongside other solicitor firms and together, we have been able to see first-hand how our support is helping the hospital. We recently had a tour of the construction build of the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre which was a different experience for me. I am looking forward to seeing the finished building and see for ourselves what a difference our support, together with our clients has helped to achieve.”

Jan continues:

“I have had the pleasure of working very closely with a large number of local solicitor firms over the years and I am always astounded each year the level of support and hard work they give, together with the public who take up the offer of the scheme. Everyone has played a vital part in supporting various medial projects over the years enabling the RUH to continue to provide the very best level of acute care for the 500,000 people it serves. We are extremely humbled to each and every one of them”.

The RUH Will month scheme will run again this September and the cost of having a single standard Will written costs £100 or standard Mirror Wills or joint Wills will be £150. Details of the solicitor firms taking part this year are to be announced this summer.

 

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Therapies Matter – can you help us raise the last £100,000?

Thanks to the recent charitable contribution received from the Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail, The Forever Friends Appeal has £100,000 left to raise for the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre that’s taking shape at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

The charity is now appealing to the public to show their support and make a donation to complete its £2 million fundraising target for the new centre, which will provide the much-needed therapy services for around 25,000 patients each year.

Last year, thousands of people visited Bath to see the Minerva’s Owls of Bath on display across the region. The Minerva’s Owls went on to be sold at a charity auction and the profit has gone to four Bath charities, including The Forever Friends Appeal.

With the Appeal receiving some of the profits from the auction of the large Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculptures, the money has divided between the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and Dyson Cancer Centre.

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

“I would like to thank the Minerva’s Owls project for making us the major beneficiary of the whole scheme last summer. Their contribution has brought us closer to reaching our fundraising target and if the public can help us raise this last essential £100,000 it will make a huge difference to what we can do with this new facility.”

“We’ve been fundraising for this major build since 2017 and as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated and supported us. All donations to this centre have been doubled thanks to the Brownsword match-funding Challenge.

“The new RNHRD and Therapies Centre will, under one roof, provide the therapy services that are currently provided at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) known locally as ‘The Mineral Water Hospital’, and the RUH Therapies and Pain departments.

“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. So many patient journeys make their way at some point through our therapies facilities, so they matter to everyone in all walks of life.”

The RNHRD and Therapies 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.

Staff and services will move to the RNHRD and Therapies Centre this autumn as part of a phased programme of relocating all services from the Mineral Water Hospital site and the RUH therapies to the new Centre.

The latest addition to the build has been the installation of specially designed windows around the new hydrotherapy pool. Created by artist Chris Tipping, who experienced the impact of hydrotherapy to assist the design, he hopes they will inspire patients being treated in this centre.

Donations for this major build can be made via our website 

Alternatively, why not take part in one of the Appeal’s fundraising events this year, and pledge your support to the RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

Thank you for your support

 

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Thank you team Curo

Curo, the Bath-based housing association and house-builder, has raised £13,672 for the new Dyson Cancer Centre that will be built at the RUH.

Every year, Curo colleagues choose a ‘Charity of the Year’ and The Forever Friends Appeal was nominated.

Rachael Allen, Communications, Brand and PR manager, Curo said:

“Choosing The Forever Friends Appeal as our charity of the year was an easy decision for us as we wanted to give something back to the RUH, its staff and patients in gratitude for the care given to our colleagues, friends and family.

“We raised the money by organising all kinds of fundraising activities, including yoga classes, naming our vans, cake sales, a golf day, raffles, taking part in the charity’s Walk of Life event, plus many more.”

A Curo colleague who talks highly of the RUH and helped fundraise for the Dyson Cancer Centre is Stuart Dashwood, who works in their Lettings Team. Stuart, aged 50, from Bath, was re-diagnosed in December 2015 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a relapse from a diagnosis in 2009. He said:

“I am eternally grateful for all the treatments, support, empathy and love extended to me over the last ten years – especially the last three years which have been the most challenging.

“From January 2016 I received six sessions of chemotherapy followed by 18 months of treatment taking me through to spring 2018. I now go to the RUH for checkups every three months and despite aches and pains there are no signs of reoccurrence of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is fantastic news.

“I have experienced the most amazing and empathetic care and have nothing but praise for all the team who have looked after me. We are lucky to have the NHS. I have been offered lots of support throughout this journey from my amazing GP, the consultants in Oncology and Macmillan nurses.

“When Rachael Allen heard that I used to DJ, she asked me to do a special one-off gig at our annual Spotlight Award Ceremony in aid of raising awareness to the charity – naturally I waived my fee and the evening was a huge success. I also wrote a blog for my colleagues to read prior to the awards night to highlight the importance of The Forever Friends Appeal and that I am a real-life beneficiary of the RUH; put simply, without them I would not be here now, they saved my life.”

This year, Curo colleagues have voted to raise money for the RUH’s Children’s ward and their fundraising plans are already in the making.

Jo Common, Corporate Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“It’s wonderful news to hear that we will be working with Curo again this year. Every year, tens of thousands of children receive care and treatment at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

“Some young patients come for routine operations, others for therapy to help them cope with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Charitable support helps make life better for these children, and their families, by funding additional services, facilities and equipment.

Thanks to generous supporters like Curo, The Forever Friends Appeal is able to fund important projects that make a very real difference to patients and their families.”

 

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Find out about our Breast Unit Special Appeal on 17 April

An unique opportunity to hear about the plans to transform the Breast Unit at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath is taking place on Wednesday 17th April at 6pm.

The Forever Friends Appeal is holding an open evening for people to come and hear the exciting plans to redevelop and expand the Breast Unit and why it needs the public’s support to raise £450,000 to make it happen.

Richard Sutton, Breast Unit Consultant at the RUH said:

“Everyone is welcome to attend the open evening, it will include a tour and my team will talk about the work we do and the vision we have to further improve our Breast Unit. We want to ensure that the high standard of care that is already provided is complemented by a holistic approach that promotes wellbeing and recovery for our patients.

“We see and treat an increasing number of patients every year – around 6,000 referrals are made to our outpatients Breast surgery services – and around 400 of these patients will be treated for cancer.

“We hope by giving people an insight to our area of work in our existing facilities they will see why it’s important that we have a superb new Breast Unit to meet current demands and for the patients who will be referred to the RUH for treatment in the future.”

The NHS is providing £1m funding for new equipment in the Breast Unit and the Appeal will raise the additional charitable funds for the refurbishment and expansion works as part of its 20th anniversary Special Appeals programme.

The work includes a new waiting area, providing a more welcoming and calming atmosphere, a new area for mammographic and MRI reporting, larger consultation suites and examination areas. Patients will also benefit from a dedicated treatment room which will be pivotal in reducing the length of stay in hospital for patients.

There will also be space for essential survivorship support from dedicated staff, an outside area for private retreats, and quiet rooms for privacy and dignity where staff can carry out holistic needs assessments and assist patients with prosthetic fittings.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising said:

“We are appealing to the public to support us and make a donation to our Breast Unit Special Appeal. We are excited to be fundraising for this area as we can go above and beyond what the NHS can provide. This means that patients will benefit immensely from a Breast Unit that promotes wellbeing and recovery, whilst providing the very best facilities for an ongoing patient-centred approach to care.

“If you’ve been a patient at the RUH, or are a friend or relative of someone who’s been treated at the hospital and would like to give something back to this unit, you can donate via our website, in person at the RUH alternatively, you can raise money by taking part in one of our fundraising events or leave a gift in your will to this Special Appeal.

Karen Unsworth-White, aged 51 from Saltford and former Breast Unit patient said:

“Finding a lump in my left Breast was quite a shock but the response from the staff in the Breast Unit was incredible. Once the diagnosis was made of a grade three invasive cancer, plans for surgery, chemotherapy and then radiotherapy were made. Although it was a pretty scary experience, I felt completely supported.

“I cannot thank my consultant and Breast nurse enough for the care, support, kindness and guidance they gave at a time when I felt overwhelmed. They got me through this and my family and I will be forever grateful for that.”

For further information and to book a place on the Breast Unit Open Evening, contact The Forever Friends Appeal on 01225 825691,  or complete the form below:

[contact-form-7 id=”18568″ title=”Breast Unit Tour”]

 

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Ted’s Big Day Out is back

Schools, nurseries and youth organisations in Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset are being encouraged to take part in Big Ted’s Day Out on 18 October to help raise funds for Children’s Services at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

As part of our 20th anniversary year, our much loved mascot, Big Ted is making a comeback.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We would particularly like to see schools, nurseries, brownies, guides, scouts, universities and other youth groups getting involved and fundraising for their local hospital.

“This year’s theme is celebrate your way – so it’s up to you whether you organise a fancy dress day, wear a silly hat, have a teddy bears picnic or do something else fun in exchange for a suggested £1 contribution per pupil – just let us know what you’re going to do as Big Ted may make a special guest appearance.

“The aim is to raise money towards funding specialist children’s equipment, educational and therapy toys for the RUH’s neonatal care unit, children’s centre and children’s therapies.”

Emily Graham, Head of Children’s Therapies at the RUH said:

“We are delighted that Big Ted is helping us raise funds so we can purchase some very special items for the children and young people our team supports. Receiving charitable funds enables us to offer an extended range of toys and equipment to help make children’s’ experience of therapy sessions as enjoyable and successful as possible.

“This is an amazing opportunity for us to improve our resources and environment to help children engage with and enjoy their therapy.  For example, story sacks to promote development of communication skills, and interactive toys to encourage movement. We would also like to buy new specialist equipment to support posture and mobility. This would enhance our assessment of children with disabilities to ensure they have the appropriate equipment to promote physical skills for play, mobility and life.”

Interested in taking part? To find out more about Ted’s Big Day Out, register and request a free fundraising pack visit www.tedsbigdayout.com or call 01225 824013. The first 10 organisations to sign up will win an educational visit from Big Ted.

 

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Bath Half runners come out in support of the RUH

Over 100 local people will be running in the Bath Half this Sunday for The Forever Friends Appeal.

The Appeal will be there on the day cheering on its team, which includes 40 members of RUH staff.

Each runner has pledged to raise a minimum of £175 sponsorship – and the overall amount will benefit a number of areas across the hospital, including wards and departments. The money will go towards funding life-enhancing equipment, facilities, research and new buildings such as the Dyson Cancer Centre and RNHRD and Therapies Centre.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser said:

“It’s fantastic that we have so many people from across Bath, Somerset and Wiltshire running for our charity. Many of our colleagues at the RUH will be joining us at our dedicated cheering point near Green Park, and anyone is welcome to join us and cheer on our team from 10:45am, it’s going to be a great day.

“Our ambassador, Ed Jackson, former Bath rugby player and patient at the RUH will be greeting our runners before the race, offering some last-minute coaching and words of encouragement. And, after the race our runners will join us for a celebratory 20th anniversary-themed party in our marque as this year we’re marking our 20th year of fundraising for the RUH.”

Josephine Wildridge, aged 41, who grew up in Trowbridge and now lives in London said:

“I’m doing the Bath Half to raise as much money as possible for the RUH’s Intensive Care Unit and to say thanks to everyone who looked after my mum, especially Doctor Georgiou and the Intensive Care Unit team. My mum was in Intensive Care for 18 days at Christmas after emergency surgery.

“Every evening I ate in the canteen, and saw the posters for the Bath Half Marathon. During those very dark and uncertain days, I started to think about how I could give something back to those caring for my mum. It doesn’t seem enough to say thank you to those who saved my mum’s life, but I’m doing the Bath Half as it’s the only way I can say thank you. The NHS is the best in the world.”

Despite last year’s Bath Half being cancelled due to snow, our team of runners raised an incredible £25,000 for our patients and The Forever Friends Appeal hopes to see even more funds raised this year.

To find out more about the event, including travel information click here

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Community group raises £55,000 for Dyson Cancer Centre

A group of five committed volunteers from Chippenham, Melksham and Calne have raised an incredible £55,000 for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

They call themselves the Your Local RUH Cancer Care Fundraising Group and they started fundraising for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care campaign in 2012.

Bev Viveash, chairperson of the Your Local RUH Fundraising Group said:

“We are so pleased to have reached this fantastic amount. I got involved with the fundraising with my daughter while she was receiving treatment for her cancer at the RUH. Before she passed away she encouraged me to continue fundraising for the new Cancer Centre for future patients and their families.

“It has been a privilege to fundraise and volunteer for my local hospital and I enjoy getting involved with the charity’s events. Over the past six years, we have organised book and cake sales, quiz nights, treasure hunts and coffee mornings to raise money for a cause that is close to our hearts.

“We meet once a month in the Angel Hotel in Chippenham and new members are welcome to join us. Over the years, I have got to know some really lovely people and it’s a great way to spend time doing something positive for a really important cause.”

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“We are so grateful for their support and commitment to our cancer campaign. They all have their individual reasons for giving back to the RUH and their passion has shone through their wonderful fundraising events. On behalf of the Appeal, I’d like to thank them all, for their dedication and continuing support for our RUH Cancer Care campaign.”

Fundraising in the fight against cancer never stops, and as The Forever Friends Appeal heads towards its 20th year of fundraising, it continues the campaign to support this amazing project to achieve the very best care, treatment and quality of environment for patients and their families.

Once the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre is open, treating patients, the old therapies buildings will be cleared to make way for the construction of the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

Anyone interested in finding out about joining Your Local RUH Cancer Care Fundraising group or setting up their own community group to raise money for the RUH, contact Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser on 01225 824013 or email: lauren.noble1@nhs.net.

 

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Three life-changing reasons for Nic’s Walk of Life challenge

Warminster resident and charity ambassador, Nic Noble will be donning her walking boots to take part in our annual Walk of Life on Saturday 11 May, in memory of her sister Vanessa ‘Ness’ Kyte.

The sisters, Nic and Ness were involved in creating the very first walking event with us back in 2006. Sadly Ness passed away a year later, but every year Nic and many of her family continue to take part in what is now known as the Walk of Life. Honoring Ness’ dream to make sure a new Cancer Centre at the RUH became a reality.

Nic will walk 26.2 miles on the day, which will also form part of training for her second challenge in October, trekking the Great Wall of China with a team of other fundraisers for the Appeal. This year’s challenges are extra special for her, as it marks 20 years since she was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, Ness was diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as our 20th year of fundraising, a cause which her entire family is so passionate about.

Nic will be one of hundreds of people from across Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset making every step count for RUH patients and their families. The walk’s marathon route will start in Bishop Canning’s (near Devizes), and follows the canal, finishing at the Holburne Museum in Bath. With the support of friends, family and the community, Nic has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for our Appeal so far and hopes that many others will join the walk, to help raise thousands more.

Nic, aged 57, said: “My family and I have been supporting the Forever Friends Appeal for over 10 years because we want to help make a difference to future patients living with and beyond cancer – a cause my sister Ness was so passionate about before she passed away. However this year marks a milestone in my own health journey, so with my walks I have chosen to support the Therapies Matter campaign, raising money for the RNHRD and Therapies Centre being built at the RUH.

“I want to help them reach their fundraising target as they have just £100,000 left to raise. Once this fantastic new therapies centre is open and treating patients, the old therapies buildings will be cleared to make way for the new Dyson Cancer Centre – and finally we will see my sister’s dream become a reality.

“It all started 20 years ago after I had my daughter Alice, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, and my sister, Ness was diagnosed with breast cancer – these three things changed my life – but in a positive way.

“With Osteoporosis, it weakens your bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. Without the consultant’s advice, treatment and physio at the RNHRD, which will be part of the new Therapies Centre, I would not have been able to help make sure Ness’ dream and my final promise to her, of a new Cancer Centre to become reality. But, thanks to therapy treatment, I have been able to continue my marathon fundraising challenges, be part of the Warminster & District RUH Fundraising Group and support this charity in any way that I can. I’m even going to trek the Great Wall of China in October – which is going to be my biggest challenge yet!

“I’m really looking forward to celebrating 20 years of this wonderful charity at this year’s walk, with my amazing sister always in my thoughts – as every step I take, really does make a difference. I can’t wait to see everyone who is taking part and stepping out to support patients cared for at the RUH.”

People are being encouraged to sign up for the Walk of Life now. It costs £25 to register and is open to both men and women. It will be opened by Glastonbury festival founder Michael Eavis CBE and there is the option to walk the 10 mile route starting in Bradford on Avon. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of £100 and people can choose support any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns – RNHRD and Therapies Centre and Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, The Forever Friends Appeal will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, an official Walk of Life t-shirt and pass, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats on the day. At the finish line you will receive a medal amid plenty of celebrations!

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up, click here

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