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Bath Half runners raise over £35K

Over £35,500 has been raised thanks to the 120 runners who took part in this year’s Bath Half Marathon to raise funds for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

This incredible amount will benefit a number of areas across the RUH including the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics, and the Critical Care Unit.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser said: “This year, we had a fantastic team of runners which included 40 members of RUH staff and corporate teams from Kier and Curo.

“Together, they have raised an incredible amount of money for our hospital and we would like to thank them for all of their efforts, as well as everyone who sponsored them. The funds raised will go towards our major fundraising campaigns and funding medical equipment on our wards and departments to help further improve patient care at the RUH.

“I would also like to thank our ambassadors, former Bath rugby player Ed Jackson, and British Paralympic swimmer, Stephanie Millward MBE for joining us on the day.”

Everyone who submitted their sponsorship money by 17 April, one month after the event, was entered into our prize draw to win £50 voucher for John Moore Sports in Bath.

We are delighted to announce that Gemma Knight, RUH Specialist Physiotherapist (pictured left) won the prize.

She raised an incredible £728 for Pierce Ward and Forrester Brown Ward and this amount is going towards purchasing new rehabilitation equipment and dementia-friendly activities for the wards.

Anyone interested in signing up to run the Bath Half Marathon 2020 for patients at the RUH can buy a charity place now by clicking here. Early bird places are now on sale at just £20 per person. All runners are asked to raise a minimum of £175 in support of one of our Major CampaignsSpecial Appeals or another area or department in the hospital close to their heart.

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Bumper meets Big Ted

What happens when a mouse meets a big cuddly bear? The answer is – a fantastic new partnership between Hollywood Bowl at Bristol Longwell Green and The Forever Friends Appeal.

The mascots, Bumper from Hollywood Bowl and Big Ted from The Forever Friends Appeal, met for the first time this week to celebrate the launch of their charity partnership.

Laura Durrant, Centre Manager at Hollywood Bowl Bristol Longwell Green said:

“What better way to celebrate our partnership than to introduce our loveable mascots and have a game of bowling. We were delighted to see the healthy competition between the mascots, all in the aid of the charity.

“At Hollywood Bowl, we’re committed to supporting local charities and embracing the Hollywood Bowl experience, which is all about family fun and creating memories. This is why we’ve chosen to support a charity that’s close to our heart. It’s a particularly significant charity for some of our team who have previously received treatment and support from the children’s services at the RUH.

“We’re now planning fundraising events for the appeal, which include the Hero Pin Friday event each Friday evening in June, where we’ll donate £10 for every customer who scores a ‘Pink Pin’ strike.”

All the money raised by Hollywood Bowl Longwell Green over the next 12 months will be donated to the Appeal to fund additional equipment and services for the Children’s Department at the RUH. For those wanting to get involved in the events visit Hollywood Bowl’s website and Facebook page for details.

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

“We are delighted to have support from Hollywood Bowl, as they are a new charity partnership and we look forward to hearing their fundraising plans for the year ahead.

“Charity of the Year partnerships are a great way for companies to work with their teams and make a positive impact in their communities. Not only does the fundraising help us to further improve services at the RUH, it also promotes team spirit and boosts morale.

“We are thrilled to have Hollywood Bowl’s support for our Children’s Services to help us make life better for the children, and their families, who are receiving treatment and care at the RUH.”

Anyone interested in our Charity of the Year partnerships can find out more information on our website or call Jo on 01225 825392.

 

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Father to walk marathon for the care of his son

Thanks to the care and support from staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal United Hospitals Bath, 10 month old Archie is just like all the other babies his age, he’s happy, healthy and very inquisitive.

However, his parents, George and Amy Hobbs didn’t quite have the start to parenthood as expected. Archie was born 10 weeks premature, weighing just 3lbs 4oz and he spent five weeks in NICU at the RUH.


Baby Archie, born 10 weeks premature and being cared for in NICU

Thankfully, Archie was discharged from NICU in July 2018. As a thank you to the doctors and nursing staff in NICU for their care and support to Archie and to them as new parents, George is training to walk 26.2 miles on Saturday 11 May 2019. He will also be joined by his friends and family.

George is one of hundreds of people who has signed up to take part in the Walk of Life, a fundraising event organised by the RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. It’s an opportunity for people to do something amazing whilst raising money for the hospital. Anyone interested in taking part should sign up now on the charity’s website.

George, aged 27, from Chippenham said:

“Without all the amazing staff and facilities at the RUH, Archie would not have had the brilliant start to life that he was given. The care and support, not just for Archie, but for us is something we will be forever grateful for and never forget.

“My wife, Amy and I owe so much to NICU so along with some friends, I’ll be walking a marathon at the Walk of Life to thank them and celebrate Archie.

It’ll be a little bit different to my usual Saturday playing for Avonvale RFC!

We would love to raise as much money as possible to help give other babies and families the best start to life.”

Places are still available on the Walk of Life and people can choose to either walk the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes to Bath or walk the 10 miles, joining the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon heading to finish line at the Holbourne Museum in Bath.

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“There’s a few weeks until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and Michael Eavis CBE will be at the start line to set everyone off on the walk. Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.

We are looking forward to seeing George cross the finish line and hopefully Amy and Archie will be there to help celebrate!”

To support George’s marathon fundraising and help other families like his, please visit their JustGiving page.

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 to register. Registration closes on 8 May, and there will be no sign ups on the day. Participants are asked to raise a minimum £100 for any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, we will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats, there will be cake at the finish line, as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations.

To sign up and book your place on the Walk of Life click here

 

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Join James and Jasper on the Walk of Life

Calling all walkers! There’s still time to join our charity marathon and help raise tens of thousands of pounds for patients and families at the RUH.

Nearly 400 people have already signed up for The Walk of Life event on Saturday 11 May – and we’re encouraging even more people to sign up and take part.

There are two distances to choose from – the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath or the 10-mile distance starting in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon.

RUH Chief Executive, James Scott will be walking the 10-mile section with his cocker spaniel Jasper.

James said:

“I am incredibly proud of The Forever Friends Appeal and what they have achieved during the past 20 years. I have witnessed first-hand the difference our charity has made to patients and their families, and by taking part in this year’s Walk of Life, this is me doing my bit for the Appeal.

“I never cease to be amazed by the hundreds of inspirational walkers who come together with the aim of wanting to make a real difference for future patients. I am looking forward to meeting some of our supporters along the way and hearing their stories, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s taking part.”

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 for the hospital. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the charity’s RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support for wards and departments in the hospital.

Another walker taking part this year is Katie Bridge from Glastonbury, who’s raising money for the RUH Cancer Care campaign. She said:

“It is an honour to walk in memory of my truly wonderful, brave dad, Pete Bridge. He began treatment for skin cancer at the RUH in 2009 and over the next eight years had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radiation therapy.

“In 2018, he attended the hospital numerous times and his last six week stay was on the wonderful Waterhouse ward, where we slowly realised that nothing more could be done. But, thanks to the hospital staff and the lovely carers at Dorothy House, he got his wish to come home.

“He wanted to make Christmas but sadly he lost his marathon battle with cancer just before. Whenever I visited the RUH, I always noticed the events organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, so it was an easy decision for me to take part in their Walk of Life event, to support the RUH and say thank you. I am hoping I can help raise much-needed funds for the new Cancer Centre.”

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“It’s just a month until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are looking forward to seeing hundreds of people join us and those who complete the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.”

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 to register. Participants are asked to raise a minimum £100 for any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, The Forever Friends Appeal will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats. There will be cake at the finish line, as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations.

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

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Daughter walks marathon in memory of her father

Glastonbury resident Katie Bridge is in training and getting ready to walk 26.2 miles in memory of her brave dad, Pete Bridge, a much loved local man who sadly lost his marathon battle with cancer last year.

Katie will be joining the hundreds of walkers in this year’s Walk of Life event on Saturday 11 May.  Almost 400 people have signed up and will follow the route along the Kennett and Avon canal from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath.

Anyone interested in taking part should sign up now on the charity’s website.

Katie Bridge, aged 50, from Glastonbury said:

“I’m doing the Walk of Life to raise money for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – it’s my way of giving back to the hospital which cared for my dad so well over the years. My dad began treatment for skin cancer at the RUH in 2009 and over the next eight years he had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radiation therapy to shrink the tumours.

“In 2018, he attended the RUH numerous times and his last six week stay was on the wonderful Waterhouse Ward, where we slowly realised that nothing more could be done. But, thanks to the hospital staff and the lovely carers at Dorothy House, he got his wish to come home.

“He wanted to make Christmas but sadly he lost his marathon battle with cancer just before, on the 22nd December 2018. Whenever I visited the RUH, I always noticed the events organised by The Forever Friends Appeal, so it was an easy decision for me to take part in their Walk of Life event, to support the RUH and say thank you. I am hoping I can help raise much-needed funds for the new Cancer Centre.”

The Walk of Life offers people the choice of two walking distances – either the full 26.2 miles or walk the 10 miles, joining the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon heading to finish in Bath.

Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath. That money has helped fund a number of projects including the RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

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

“It’s just a month until the event, so there’s still time to sign up if anyone wishes to take part. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and Michael Eavis CBE will be at the start line to set everyone off on the walk. Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a special edition 20th anniversary Walk of Life t-shirt and finisher medal.”

The Walk of Life event is open to both men and women and costs £25 to register. Participants are asked to raise a minimum £100 for any ward or department at the RUH close to your heart, or one of the charity’s major campaigns, the RNHRD and Therapies Centre and the Dyson Cancer Care.

In return, The Forever Friends Appeal will provide walkers with lots of fundraising and training support, as well as complimentary refreshments and treats, there will be cake at the finish line, as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations.

To sign up and book your place on the Walk of Life click here

 

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Facial Surgery & Orthodontics Special Appeal is complete

The Forever Friends Appeal has smashed its fundraising target for the newly relocated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Thanks to the generosity from individual donors and a local charitable trust, patients can now look forward to visiting a modern Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department in Zone C at the RUH.

Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising said:

“I would like to thank everyone who made a donation towards this special appeal. It’s thanks to everyone’s support that we’ve been able to help the RUH create a fantastic new facility for the team to continue delivering life-changing care and treatments to the 9,900 new patients treated in this department each year.

“A significant donation was made in memory of two former patients, Lyn Ann Lewkowicz and Dorothy May Angell. Both patients were treated for Orofacial cancers and we understand that when Lyn was being treated she had to travel to Bristol to have a special type of X-ray as the RUH does not have this particular piece of equipment in-house. Therefore, in tribute to Lyn, the donation will be invested in one of these specialist X-ray machines so that future patients can have all their treatment and scans at the RUH.”

A further significant donation was also received from the Medlock Charitable Trust which set up a Space to Smile challenge, a match-funding scheme which doubled the value some of the donations. Other fundraising activities came from the Walwin family and their friends who held a charity event raising £10,000 and staff from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics team ran in this year’s Bath Half as well as holding a silent art auction.

The facilities in the improved Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics department includes new X-ray equipment, four modern consulting rooms, a fully equipped orthodontics suite, two minor operations rooms, an updated dental laboratory, a bright and a welcoming reception and waiting area.

Serryth Colbert, Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the RUH said:

“We are very grateful for the generous donations made to our charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. As soon as patients walk into our new department they’ll benefit from the calming, holistic environment. This is so important as we know patients can feel stressed when facing a challenging disease or injury.

“The additional funding has meant that we can purchase a Cone-Beam CT X-ray machine for our unit. Having the cone-beam technology in our clinical practice will allow early and accurate diagnosis of deep-seated facial lesions and tumors. This will make our treatment quicker and ultimately reduce waiting times. My team and I are looking forward to celebrating the opening of our new department with an official ceremony later in April.”

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Six chicks with sticks set off on cycle challenge

This week, six friends from Warminster will swap their hockey sticks for bikes and set off on a 420 mile cycling adventure to raise money for the Dyson Cancer Centre, planned to be built at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

The group, who’ve called themselves ‘6 Chicks with Sticks’ normally play hockey together but this year, they decided to take up a challenge to show support for their friend Sally Douthwaite who is being treated for ovarian cancer at the hospital.

In eight days, Sally Douthwaite, Sarah Shanks, Nic Ilic, Ali Brown, Kirsty Stewart and Gussie Kerr-Bonner will cycle from St David’s in Pembrokeshire to Lowestoft in East Anglia. Their aim was to raise £6,000 but having already smashed their target, they are hoping to raise more.

Sally Douthwaite, aged 52, said:

“Having received my shocking diagnosis of ovarian cancer back in November 2016, I have received nothing but the utmost care and reassurance from all of the clinical teams within the oncology department at the RUH.

“They’ve given me their time, including a friendly voice at the end of the phone whenever I’ve needed it. I feel empowered to manage my illness and treatment in a way that gives me some control. Having been closely monitored by my consultant, it meant that my cancer relapse was picked up early and although I’m now undergoing further treatment I know I’m in safe hands.

“Our challenge is an opportunity to give something back to this wonderful team by supporting the RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. We want to contribute towards making further improvements to the hospital’s cancer service for future patients. I’d like to say thank our local schools and everyone who has supported us at our cake sales, quiz and curry nights.”

Ali Brown, a member of 6 Chicks with Sticks said:

“As a group of working mothers on the other side of 40, we all have our fair share of day-to-day challenges, however, none are as big as the cancer battle that Sally is facing. She successfully fought this disease with the most amazing courage and a great sense of humour. Despite this, it has returned and she once again she turns to the RUH for help with a tough road ahead.

“None of us are cyclists, with one of us having barely ridden a bike for 25 years. But, we wanted a challenge, something that we would have to work really hard at, and so this west to east cycle challenge is something we felt would be tough but one that we can achieve. We were inspired by the ‘Four Mums in a Boat’, they are amazing women who showed that with determination, planning and team work, you really can achieve anything you want.”

The Chicks will set off from St David’s on the 4 April. Anyone wishing to show their support can visit their JustGiving.com page.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser said:

“On behalf of the charity, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the 6 Chicks with Sticks for all that they have achieved so far. By running their own fundraising events and with the support of their loved ones, they have raised an incredible sum to support the RUH Cancer Care Campaign – and we have been so touched by their determination and support of Sally. Good luck to the whole team, we’ll be thinking of you and can’t wait to hear about your adventure.”

As we head towards our 20th anniversary on 29 June 2019, the RUH Cancer Care campaign continues to achieve the very best care, treatment and quality of environment for patients who are living with and beyond cancer, and their families.

Once the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre opens in the autumn, the old therapies buildings at the RUH Combe Park site will be cleared to make way for the construction of the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

For more information about Dyson Cancer Centre and to make a donation, click here

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