01225 825691


Take the plunge & experience an ‘at sea’ water rescue

Experience an ‘at sea’ water rescue by a four-legged 14-stone furry hero on Saturday 8 June at Portishead Marina, Bristol to help raise funds for patients at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath. Places are limited, so take the plunge and sign up today.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience what it is like to be rescued by a Newfoundland dog. It costs just £30 to register and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £100 for any ward or department at the RUH that’s close to their heart.

The event has been organised with Newfound Friends for The Forever Friends Appeal. Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“This is a fundraising event with a difference and we are delighted to be working be with these life-saving dogs again, as it was such a big hit with those who took the plunge last year. We only have a set number of places left, so avoid missing out on this fun experience and sign up on our website.

“On the day, you will get the full experience of what it’s like to be rescued by a Newfoundland dog. They are powerful dogs, each weighing around 14 stone, and are an impressive sight in the water. Once you’re suited up, ready for the water, you’ll be taken out into the marina and be asked to jump in, but don’t worry, your furry rescuer won’t be far behind and will tow you back safely.”

Last year, almost £7,000 was raised for the RUH – an amazing total and as participants can choose which area of the hospital their sponsorship would support, we saw donations going towards our major campaigns such as the new Dyson Cancer Centre and RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre, as well as our Special Appeals such as Facial Surgery and Critical Care and other departments in the hospital, which is fantastic.”

Pete Grimes (pictured below) , aged 43, from Bath has signed up to take one giant splash for patients. He said:

“I’m taking part in this event as I have been looking for a challenge with a difference, something that will take me out of my comfort zone and this is definitely it. I’ve not been in the water for years, but I’ve seen some of these Newfoundland dogs in action, so I’m pretty confident that they will do a fabulous job on the day and rescue us.

“My reason for taking part is because I want to give something back to the RUH, for all the help they’ve given me over the past few years. Without them we couldn’t have got through losing some close family members on both my wife’s and my side of the family. Therefore I wanted to fundraise for their charity, The Forever Friends Appeal to help make a difference to other people and their families.”

As places are limited, anyone interested in taking part can sign up here


Read more

Supporting Dying Matters Week, 13 – 17 May

This week, we’ve been supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week with our colleagues at the RUH. The aim has been to encourage each of us to talk about death, dying and bereavement. For many people it’s not a easy subject to talk about, but it’s really important for staff to be aware and understand the needs of patients and their families when they are close to the end of life.

To get the conversation started, a number of events were held throughout the week and The Forever Friends Appeal and our supporters have played a big part. Here’s a round-up of what has happened this week at the RUH:

On Monday 13 May, we held a ‘See It My Way’ session for staff to hear from guest speakers about their own personal experience of the loss of a loved one. We would like to say a big thank you to Bev, Shelley and Jo for speaking at this event.

On Tuesday 14 May, we were pleased to announce the new bereavement bags which we have funded (pictured below on the left) for RUH wards to use, providing a sensitive way of returning belongings to family members after the loss of their loved one.

These bags are environmentally friendly and will be a welcome option to the plastic green and grey bags (on the right) which were being used until now. The design on the bags uses the butterfly symbol which is used across the hospital to identify priorities of care.

On Wednesday 15 May, the new Compassionate Companions Service was launched at the RUH. The new service is a joint partnership between Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH – organisations that are both rated outstanding in end of life care by the Care Quality Commission.

The service has been funded for three years by the Sperring Trust – a grant given to our Appeal to support this fantastic project. The Sperring Trust looks after a legacy of Midsomer Norton builder Ralph Sperring, who left his estate to benefit the local community.

At the launch, Helen Meehan, Lead Nurse, Palliative Care and End of Life Team said: “I have always felt privileged to work in end of life care. I believe that our final hours are as precious as our first. Compassion underpins everything we do and this service will allow volunteers to be on our wards, providing patients with comforting words, a listening ear or to hold their hand – the support these patients very much need. It will also give families the chance for some respite during what is an emotionally and physically exhausting time.”

On Friday 17 May, a pop-up legal cafe offering free advice made a special, one-off appearance at the hospital. We would like to say thank you to Wards Solicitors from Keynsham for very kindly donating a hamper full of lots of sweet treats for staff to win, as well as offering a a free standard or joint Will to win in our staff competition.

Dying Matters Awareness Week at the RUH also included a book club discussion on the international bestseller ‘Being Mortal’ by Atul Gawande, and an opportunity at the Spiritual Care Centre for staff to reflect, listen and talk about end of life care and spirituality.

On Saturday 18 May a Service of Reflection for babies that have died, and the dedication of a remembrance garden will be held at Haycombe Cemetery in Bath – everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information about Dying Matters Week click here


Read more

Hundreds of walkers take part in our Walk Of Life event

On Saturday 11 May, 425 people donned their walking boots and covered an incredible 7,500 miles in our Walk of Life event, raising money for The Forever Friends Appeal, the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity.

Around half of the walkers completed the full distance, 26.2 miles – from Bishop Cannings, near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holburne Museum in Bath. The rest of the walkers joined in at Bradford-on-Avon and walked the final 10 miles to the finish line.

The Walk of Life is our annual walking fundraising event and the aim is to raise funds to support patients and their families cared for at the RUH every year. This year, the funds will go towards our RUH Cancer Care campaign for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, the new RNHRD and Therapies Centre and many of the hospital’s wards and departments.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Officer said:

“Thank you so much to all of our brilliant walkers who took part and to those that helped make the Walk of Life happen. We have been so inspired hearing about the many reasons people take part – from walking in memory of a loved one, supporting someone currently receiving treatment or to get active and support a good cause – your walk on Saturday has the power to help so many patients at the RUH, so you should all be very proud!

“I would especially like to thank Michael Eavis CBE and Mayor of Devizes, Councillor Andy Geddes for setting the walkers off at the start line, the Mayor of Bradford on Avon, Councillor Simon McNeill-Ritchie for setting our 10 mile walkers off, the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones for handing the finisher medals, our volunteers who marshalled the route, MJ Church and Kier for sponsoring the event and everyone who came out to cheer our walkers on as they made it through the finish line.

“The Forever Friends Appeal has been transforming patient care at the RUH for 20 years and with the public’s support, we always will. Once we’ve received the sponsorship money, the total will be announced. Last year’s Walk of Life event raised over £100,000, so hopefully we’ll be close to that amount again this year.”

Next year’s Walk of Life event will take place on Saturday 16 May 2020 and places will open soon. Anyone interested in taking part should visit the Appeal’s website for more information. Walkers are provided with fundraising and training support, refreshments on the day as well as a medal and plenty of finish line celebrations. To sign up and find out more click here

To see more photos taken on the day, click here

Read more