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Friends and family go extreme in memory of their ‘absolute hero’

The family of a Malmesbury man have raised more than £12,000 in his memory to fulfill his wishes and raise money for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

Michelle Dench and family friend Sienna Sky have completed some incredible fundraising challenges in memory of John Price, who was treated at the hospital for chronic myeloid leukaemia and myeloma before passing away last year. A tribute fund has since been set up in his name to continue raising funds for the RUH.

Michelle, who herself is a cancer survivor, ran the ‘Race to the Stones’, a 100km ultra-marathon along one of the oldest trails in Britain, the Ridgeway, this summer. She completed the race in 16 hours, 46 minutes and 33 seconds.

Michelle said: “The last 10km was tough, but I had his walking poles so he helped me every step of the way. My dad is my absolute hero. His strength and determination helped me get through my own cancer treatment with a positivity that I didn’t know I had in me. He was always so grateful for the help and support he received at the RUH and was actively involved with The Forever Friends Appeal fundraising team.

“One thing I remember him saying to me was ‘I can deal with having cancer but it really upsets me when I see little children going through treatment; it’s not fair’.  It is a shame he will never see the new cancer building finished, but I know he was so glad to have helped a little along the way. That is what we are trying to do as a family; to continue his hard work.”

Malmesbury resident and singer/songwriter Sienna Sky did a wing walk and raised over £1,000. Strapped to the wings of a biplane she bravely sang ‘Fly me to the Moon’ while the plane performed a series of zoom climbs and steep dives.

She said: “It was an absolute joy for me to take on something so terrifying, yet so exhilarating, in order to raise a wonderful amount of money towards John’s fund.”

Perhaps more sedate, but no less impressive, the family also held a golf day which raised £3,300 and John’s wife Helen and daughter Louise took part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s Walk of Life earlier this year.

The family also raised £7,000 through coffee mornings and Michelle’s marathons while John was alive.

Through support from the public and major donations, The Forever Friends Appeal continues its RUH Cancer Care campaign to raise funds for the Dyson Cancer Centre. To make a donation to the charity or find out about the Dyson Cancer Centre visit: www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/ruhcancercentre.

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Movie by Moonlight presents ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

We will, we will, ROCK YOU! The film Bohemian Rhapsody (rated 12A) is coming to Bath’s Royal Victoria Park on Saturday 31 August.

This foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury is this year’s Movie by Moonlight, brought to you by the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal.

Everyone is invited and entry is free – however, there will be a bucket collection on the night and donations will go to The Forever Friends Appeal.

The gates to the outdoor screening will open at 5:30pm and the film will start at approximately 8:15pm, or when it gets dark.

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

“We are so excited to have Bohemian Rhapsody as this year’s Movie by Moonlight. It’s a fantastic film and we hope everyone will enjoy watching it under the stars.

“This year we are delighted to have some new local food vendors joining us on the night – The Scallop Shell, JC’s Kitchen, Fire & Brew, Have! A Pinch and The Split Screen Ice Cream Co, or bring your own picnic – just don’t bring any glass, barbeques or knives.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Freestyle Designs for sponsoring our Movie by Moonlight event and Filmair Cinema Services for always ensuring we have a fantastic atmosphere during the screening in Royal Victoria Park.”

All proceeds will be donated towards the Appeal to help patients and their families cared for by the Royal United Hospitals Bath. Last year’s Movie by Moonlight showing of ‘The Greatest Showman’ raised over £14,000 benefitting the charity’s major campaigns and special appeals.

For more information about this year’s Movie by Moonlight click here.

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The top 10 reasons why you should make a Will

Wards Solicitors’ Partner, Ruth Coles, who is part of the Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity team based in Keynsham, explains….

Making a Will is something a lot of us put off for a whole host of reasons – the time, the hassle, the perceived expense or simply just not wanting to think about our own mortality.

In fact, there are currently 31 million people in the UK who run the risk of dying without a Will, meaning their estate would be distributed solely under intestacy laws and not according to their wishes.

So, here’s a ‘Top 10’ of the reasons why making a Will, and regularly reviewing it, is so important:

  1. A correctly drawn Will is an inexpensive way of avoiding difficulties for your relatives and friends in the future in the event of your death;
  2. It’s far cheaper than the cost for your relatives of sorting out your estate if you die without a Will and avoids financial stress at a time when they are already having to deal with your death;
  3. It puts you in control of the final destination of your estate and brings you peace of mind and freedom to enjoy your life knowing that your family, friends and the charities of your choice will be provided for as you wish;
  4. You can appoint people you know and trust as the executors of your Will to deal with your estate and make sure everything is handled as you want for your beneficiaries;
  5. You can appoint Guardians to look after any children you have under the age of 18. This means that the courts don’t need to get involved and you know you have chosen people who share your beliefs and values;
  6. You can appoint trustees to look after any money you want to leave your children until they reach the age when you want them to have it. This is particularly important if you have been divorced as control of this money could otherwise go to your ex-spouse;
  7. A regularly updated Will means you won’t miss out on fast changing tax laws that could save your family thousands of pounds in death duties including new Inheritance Tax rules and the additional ‘residence nil rate band’ threshold;
  8. You can be clear about what kind of funeral you want, setting out everything from whether you want to be buried or cremated to the hymns and service you’d like;
  9. Unless you make a Will, unmarried partners and those who have not registered a civil partnership cannot inherit;
  10. There are some key times in your life which should act as a prompt to making a Will or updating an existing one. These are: buying a house, getting married, moving in with a partner, getting divorced, having children.

To make your appointment please contact Wards Solicitors Keynsham office on 0117 986 3504 quoting RUH Will Month, or the office of any participating solicitors’ firm local to you.

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Ensuring your estate is distributed to your wishes

Why make a Will during the RUH Make a Will Month?

Harris and Harris are very proud to support The Forever Friends Appeal by participating in their RUH Will Month scheme again this September.  Below, find out how making a Will is the only way to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes.

But simply – if you do not make a Will then Intestacy Rules will apply to your estate which means that it will be distributed according to the law and may not go to the people you intended.

It is important to note that the Intestacy Rules do not currently recognise co-habitees who are not married or in a civil partnership.  If you live with your partner and die without having made a Will, your partner will not automatically inherit your estate meaning it could pass to your surviving family.  Your partner may then have to make a claim on your estate for financial provision.

A Will is also very important if you have children as you may wish to consider appointing guardians for young children.  If you die without appointing an official guardian then you are putting then the court will need to appoint a guardian of its own choosing. This may not be the person you would chose to look after your children.

Having your Will drafted by a properly qualified professional, means you can ensure that your estate passes to those people or charities in accordance with your wishes.  A proper understanding of succession law and family matters is essential in the preparation of Wills.  When you book an appointment with Harris and Harris, we will discuss your requirements and provide you with legal advice appropriate to your needs.

By making your Will during Make a Will Month, not only do you benefit from professional advice, you are also helping your local hospital.


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