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News

Christmas raffle winners

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Christmas raffle. The funds raised from the raffle will go towards our Breast Unit Special Appeal.

The winners are:

Prize                                                                    Ticket number

1. £1000 cash (*paid by BACS transfer only) – 104481

2. LG 43 inch Smart LED TV – 089747

3. Dyson Hair Dryer – 040481

4. KitchenAid Mixer – 101590

5. Samsung Tablet  – 041572

6. Dinner for 2 at The Bath Priory – 031382

7. Family Experience – Clifton Photography – 090897

8. Dinner for 2 at Bailbrook House in Bath – 104334

9. Red Letter Day Voucher – 027069

10. 2 Tickets for Grandstand at Bath Racecourse – 104603

11. 2 Tickets for Grandstand at Bath Racecourse – 100959

12. Afternoon Tea for 2 at Manor House Hotel in
Castle Combe – 105313

13. Magnum – 102146

14. Echo Dot – 026127

15. Echo Dot – 025375

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The Helen Straker Charity raises £39k for Dyson Cancer Centre

On Monday 16th December the Helen Straker Charity announced it has raised £78,000 during 2019 in aid of The Forever Friends Appeal and Dorothy House Hospice Care.

They were the two favourite charities of Helen Straker, late wife of Gordon Straker, who sadly lost her brave fight against cancer in 2013. Gordon continues Helen’s impressive fundraising efforts through The Helen Straker Charity which was officially registered in 2014.

Both The Forever Friends Appeal and Dorothy House Hospice Care received £39,000 at a cheque presentation held at The Bear Hotel in Devizes.

This year the Helen Straker Charity raised the total amount at a number of events including their annual golf day in July and clay pigeon shoot in September. This follows another great year of fundraising last year when the Helen Straker Charity raised a total of £80,000.

Helen was a proactive fundraiser for  our  RUH Cancer Care campaign and Dorothy House Hospice Care. Gordon Straker, Trustee of the Helen Straker Charity said: “My thanks goes to all the companies, individuals and sponsors who supported our charity this year. Well done to all involved it’s a great achievement. We are proud to have raised £78,000 in funds for Helen’s two chosen charities this year as her aim in life was to help others and it is very satisfying to be able to continue her legacy as she would have wished.”

Jan Witt, In Memory and Legacy Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “On behalf of the Appeal, I personally would like to thank the trustees of the Helen Straker charity for their continued support, commitment and raising funds for the RUH’s pioneering new Cancer Centre which will provide a highly beneficial healing environment, transforming care for patients and their families. In recognition for their superb fundraising efforts totalling £235,000, the Helen Straker Charity are now Principal Family Partners of The Forever Friends Appeal, meaning they will have a naming opportunity for one of the specialist areas or departments within the new Cancer Centre.”

Phillippa Watson, Head of Fundraising at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “Many congratulations to the charity for raising such significant funds once again in 2019, it is greatly appreciated and will help Dorothy House continue to provide specialist care for people living with a life-limiting illness. We are extremely grateful to Gordon Straker, the charity Trustees and to the Devizes Lions Club this year for all their hard work and fundraising efforts.  Dorothy House cared for Helen during her battle with cancer and we’re proud to remain a beneficiary of the Helen Straker Charity.”

 

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Ted’s Big Successful Day Out

The Children’s Therapies department at the Royal United Hospitals Bath is to benefit from a donation of almost £6,000 thanks to local schools and youth groups who took part in Ted’s Big Day Out.

Ted’s Big Day Out returned this year as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations. Over 20 schools and youth organisations across the region joined the fundraising initiative to help raise funds for specialist children’s therapy equipment.

Gillian Walmsley, Head of Pathways and Creative Curriculum and Assistant Head of IB at Warminster School said:

“For Ted’s Big Day Out, we held a bake off competition and the first prize being awarded to a splendid teddy bear cake which was baked and decorated by one of our talented year 7 pupils.

“The Forever Friends Appeal is a charity that is close to Mrs Cook’s heart, she’s one of our teachers who has raised thousands for the new cancer centre. Her fundraising skills were put into action with the raffle of a chocolate pumpkin! We set out to raise £1,000 and we nailed it, raising £1,167.41 in total. We would like to thank all the parents, pupils, colleagues and Big Ted for their support.”

The school children loved meeting the charity’s mascot Big Ted who visited a number of schools on the day including Widcombe Infants, Oldfield Park Junior School, Buttercup Barn Day Nursery, Bathford Primary School, Warminster School and The Paragon School.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser said:

“We would like to thank all of the schools and youth groups for getting involved to support our hospital. This year’s theme was ‘celebrate your way’ and they all came up with brilliant fundraising ideas such as danceathons, teddy bears picnic, crazy hair days and more. It was a pleasure to work with the teachers and their students, their support is so valuable and it means so much to us.”

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

“On behalf of all my colleagues we would like to thank everyone who made a donation. We will use the funds to purchase a range of toys and equipment to make children’s’ experience of therapy sessions much more enjoyable.

“By having an extended range of equipment such as walking frames, parallel bars, gym balls available for use in our assessments we can help children further improve their mobility skills and balance. We can also use it to ensure they have the right resources at home to help them play and move around. We are grateful to everyone who helped fundraise this fantastic amount to benefit our patients.”

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Community Group raises over £120K

A group of devoted residents from Warminster and the surrounding area have raised over £120,000 for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Since 2013 The Warminster and District Fundraising Group have been fundraising for The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign by organizing quiz nights, cake sales, and other fun activities in their community.

Annie Hickmott, Chair of the Warminster and District Group said: “All members of our group have been touched by cancer in some way. By working together as a group and having fun at the same time gives us great satisfaction that we are helping to make a difference to people living with cancer.”

“We are one big family, proud of our achievement and very grateful to those who have helped us along the way. In particular, I would like to thank the residents of Beckington who held a Greatest Showman themed ball and raised an incredible £30,000 in support of this campaign.

“We are thrilled to have raised over £120,000 for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, but we could not have achieved this without our extended family that knit, bake, donate prizes and come to our events, we are eternally grateful to them.”

In recognition of their hard work and commitment, The Forever Friends Appeal presented the group with the RUH Executive Award which is awarded to those who have raised over £100,000 for the charity.

Lauren Noble, Senior Community Fundraiser said:

“We would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to the Warminster and District Group. Your hard work and dedication means so much to us and will have such a profound and lasting impact on RUH patients and families who are living with cancer. Each of you bring a special something – whether that’s a love for baking, making crafts, coming up with brilliant fundraising ideas, it’s wonderful to see everyone work so well together to raise money for such an important cause and one that is very close to their hearts.”

The Warminster and District Fundraising Group will be selling delicious cakes at the RUH on Tuesday 17th December, so please come along and show your support.

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Husband raises £25,000 in his wife’s memory

A tribute fund set up in the name of local resident Lindsay Game has raised over £25,000 for the planned Dyson Cancer Centre at Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH).

Lindsay, who lived in Chew Stoke, was diagnosed with breast cancer 31 years ago. While receiving treatment at the RUH, she became a supporter of The Forever Friends Appeal and decided to start fundraising for the RUH Cancer Care campaign.

In 2015, the cancer returned and she was told it was untreatable – sadly, in 2017, Lindsay passed away. Her husband Nigel wanted to continue raising funds for The Forever Friends Appeal and set up the Lindsay Game Forever Fund to keep her memory alive.

Nigel said: “Lindsay and I always wanted to support the RUH in all its good work. Supporting The Forever Friends Appeal was foremost in our minds. Anything that can make life easier for cancer sufferers must be a worthwhile gesture of goodwill.

“Everyone who Lindsay met was compassionate, reassuring her that she was receiving the best treatment available. I cannot thank the hospital enough.”

Lindsay’s Forever Fund was set up through the Appeal with the aim for family and friends to have the opportunity to help it grow by fundraising in honour of Lindsay whilst making a difference to future patients living with cancer and being treated at the hospital.

Over the years a number of fundraising events have been held, ranging from coffee mornings to Ceilidh band nights (a mixture of Scottish, Irish and English folk music) in the local village and in 2019 alone, Lindsay’s Goddaughter, Ali Wilkinson raised over £1,000 by skydiving, while family friend Dave Cox raised almost £500 by running the Bath Half Marathon.

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

“We are awe-inspired by Nigel’s achievements in raising over £25,000. Lindsay’s determination and passion to help future RUH patients has definitely been embraced by all her family, friends, businesses and the local community as we have watched her fund grow over the years. We were delighted to be able to thank and acknowledge the amazing fundraising efforts by presenting Nigel with a Senior Family Partner Award under our charity’s partnership scheme.

“We understand the impact that the loss of a loved one can have on families, friends and colleagues. For some, there is a need to have something to focus on which offers a meaningful remembrance, such as setting up a Forever Fund in the name of their loved one. Having a Forever Fund gives people the opportunity to come together, pay tribute and celebrate special memories in a very personal and positive way, whilst supporting the work of the RUH.”

For information about Forever Funds click here or email Jan.Witt@nhs.net

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China Trekkers raise £30,000

Twenty one local people have raised £30,000 by trekking the Great Wall of China. The money raised will go to The Forever Friends Appeal to benefit patients and their families at the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Over six days, the group trekked the twists, turns, steps and slopes of the new wonder of the world, which included covering some of the most untouched sections of the Great Wall. The group also had the opportunity to leave their own mark in China by placing a brick at one of the watchtowers.

Lindsey Hobbs who lives in Bradford on Avon said:

“This was my fourth trek for the RUH and China did not disappoint. Trekking the Great Wall of China was fabulous, we saw incredible views, learnt about its history and there were certainly lots of ups and downs to climb. I loved being with my fellow trekkers, the support and camaraderie was amazing.

“I wanted to do this trek to raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends I smashed my target of £1,000 and raised £1,570 for the Dyson Cancer Centre. I’d definitely recommend one of these adventures to anyone looking for a challenge particularly as it’s a great way to raise funds for our local hospital.”

The Forever Friends Appeal is now recruiting fundraisers to take part in their next overseas challenge – a trek through the spiritual home of the Dalai Lama in India in September 2020.

Maddy Jones, Senior Events Fundraiser, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“It’s thanks to people like Lindsey and the rest of our China trekkers that we have been able to raise such a fantastic amount for the RUH. These funds will help a number of areas in the hospital including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) our Breast Unit Special Appeal and the Dyson Cancer Centre.

“Next year’s trek to India is going to be fantastic – those who join us will experience walking the streets of Delhi and take in the spectacular scenery of the Indian Himalayas. The group will also spend a day volunteering at a school and they will be rewarded with a memorable visit to the Taj Mahal.”

Anyone interested in finding out more are invited to come to the charity’s India Trek information evening which will be held at Bath Brew House on Tuesday 21 January. To book your place click here or email: maddy.jones@nhs.net.

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Legacy gifts fund vital equipment for RUH Eye Unit

Patients being treated for serious eye conditions at the Royal United Hospitals Bath are to benefit from new high tech medical equipment thanks to The Forever Friends Appeal receiving a number of legacies totalling £121,000.

Our charity has worked with Ophthalmology staff to purchase an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) retinal scanner and two slit lamps for the hospital’s busiest outpatient department.

The OCT retinal scanner (pictured below) will monitor patients with a range of conditions including macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic macula oedema and retinal vein occlusions. The slit lamps are important tools and will enable ophthalmologists to detect eye diseases.

Helen Broadbent, Head of Optometry, RUH said:

“We are so grateful that these legacies have allowed us to purchase this additional equipment that are over and beyond what is provided by the NHS. Having a fourth OCT retinal scanner means that we can expand the service as we see a huge amount of patients every year. On average, 167 patients attend our eye outpatient’s clinic and over 18,000 patients were seen last year.

“Having this equipment is invaluable in the prevention of sight loss for many patients. In the case of one form of macular disease, Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the sooner it is caught the better, as treatment is more likely to be effective earlier on in the condition.”

According to the Macular Society, around 600,000 people in the UK currently have sight loss caused by AMD, with around 70,000 new cases every year or nearly 200 every day. Ophthalmology is now the busiest outpatient specialty in the UK, dealing with nine million outpatient appointments every year, with a predicted increase in demand of 30-40% over the next 20 years.

Jan Witt, In Memory and Legacy Officer said:

“We are very grateful to have received these legacy gifts from former patients. Gifts left in Wills to our hospital make a huge difference and help ensure our hospital can continue to provide the very best treatment and care to patients now and in the future.”

If you are considering leaving a gift in your Will to help the RUH care for patients in the future, please contact Jan Witt Legacy Officer on 01225 825819 or email jan.witt@nhs.net to arrange a special visit or a chat on the phone.

 

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Evie Owl goes on display at the RUH

An owl sculpture decorated in memory of a teenage girl called Evie Clover has gone on display at the Royal United Hospitals Bath. Evie’s parents, relatives, friends and staff gathered on Friday 29 November to see it in the garden of the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

Evie’s parents Patsy and Bryan won a plain, unpainted owl model at the Minerva Owls auction that followed the public art sculpture trial which featured over 80 individually decorated super-sized owl sculptures seen in Bath and surrounding towns – and the idea of Evie Owl was born.
Bryan Clover, Evie’s dad said:

“After we won a blank owl at auction we decided to have it painted with Evie’s favourite toys from when she was little. It seems fitting that the decorated owl has come here to the hospital, where it will be seen lots of families and children, and where Evie’s name and memory will be maintained.”

Evie was 13 years old when she passed away from an aggressive brain tumour in January 2018. Polly Bates, RUH Paediatric Oncologist who helped care for Evie said:

“Evie was truly a remarkable young woman and it was our privilege to care for her at home when she was so poorly. She leaves a legacy and a bit of magic and it’s so nice to have this special owl to remember her.”

Bath artist Laura Fearn who decorated Evie’s Owl said:

“It was really lovely to try to commemorate Evie using her favourite personal toys. I’ve tried to produce something that’s appropriate and I wanted it to be just right. I’m very happy with the end result and glad that the owl is on display to help to remember Evie’s life.”

A plaque underneath Evie’s Owl reads ‘Evie Owl celebrates the life and memory of our wonderful daughter, Evie Clover. Thank you to the RUH Oncology Unit staff who supported her at home during her illness. Evie loved sport and was a talented scholar and musician. She was full of energy and would wish that you, like her, live your life to the full.’

After Evie passed away her parents set up a charity and called it Evie’s Gift. The charity aims to give financial assistance to parents whose children have been admitted to hospital with a life threatening or life limiting condition and to fund research into the rare brain cancer that took Evie.

Evie’s Gift aims to pay for two or three nights’ accommodation locally and help meet other costs associated with being near your child while they are in hospital. For more information visit www.eviesgift.org.uk

In October 2018 70% of the profits from the Minerva Owl auction was donated to our charity and the proceeds were split between the RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre and the RUH Cancer Care Campaign for the Dyson Cancer Centre.

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