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Photos from the Walk of Life 2021

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – Team DJS

Lisa, Neil, David, Elaine, Kerry, David and Deborah from DJS Wealth Adviser LLP are taking on the Walk of Life as a team to raise vital funds for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

The company based in Radstock are walking to say thank you to the RUH for multiple reasons: “As a Practice we have all had experience with the many departments at the hospital. The Cancer Unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Maternity Ward, Accident and Emergency just to name a few.

Lisa Thorne, the Practice Manager had twin boys at 31 weeks who spent their first four weeks in NICU.  She said: “As a family, we are forever grateful for the care the boys received from the NICU team. They are now 15, studying for their GCSE’s, they both love sport and play rugby and football for their local town, Trowbridge.

We want to thank the RUH for the care and support they have provided to each of us. As a team we are looking forward to the 10 mile walk along the canal together to raise vital funds and awareness for the RUH.”

The team will walk 10 miles along the canal each, racking up an impressive team distance of 70 miles on the day.

Looking for a way to bring your colleagues together? After a strange 18 months, we’ve spent more time on-screen with colleagues than real life people. But the time to re-connect is coming, and it’s going to be amazing! Spaces are still available for our marathon canal walk and our 10 mile afternoon walk on 18th September here – the perfect way to get together and show what your team is made of.

To support the DJS Wealth Adviser team, please click here.

 

 

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Running for my Dad – Ben’s #ReasonToRun

Ben Wood from Bath is getting ready to take on the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon on 3rd October in memory of his father.

The 41st Virgin Money London Marathon is back with a bang this October, with 100,000 people set to take part across an in-person and a virtual event.  This year’s event is set to make history as the world’s biggest marathon ever.

Ben is powering through his training runs with a smile, and has already raised over £1,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal – the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).  Funds will specifically go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to say thank you for caring for his father, Adrian Wood.

Ben said: “In May 2016, my Dad very sadly passed away at RUH Bath ICU.  Honestly, it was a very scary time. The staff in the ICU did a fantastic job keeping my family and I informed and reassured during our time there. Though dad very sadly passed away, both he and my family always remained optimistic. A feeling I personally carry on to this day in all aspects of life.

I am a firm believer in the importance to always have a sense of humour, even in the darkest of times. Laughter is the release of tension and spreads positivity. The staff would often join me, my family and dad in simply having a laugh. To me there is no greater feeling and connection than this.

When Dad passed, I lost a part of my past and it was an incredibly tough time for my family and I. Though rather than be consumed by the hardship, I knew I wanted to turn it into something positive and to create a better future. With my Dad’s love of all things sport and helping others, I thought of no better way of honouring his memory than running the London Marathon for RUH Bath ICU who cared for dad in his last few weeks.

I have never really been active or had any physical fitness or skills (I couldn’t run a bath without breaking a sweat!). Though despite this, and despite experiencing plenty of failures, as we all do in life, I have always been a strong believer that you can achieve anything you set your mind to despite the challenges.

Ben’s fundraising will help support patients at their most vulnerable.  Margerinta Jenkins, Matron of Critical Care and Outreach, said: “The incredibly poignant memories of Ben’s experience, captures the essence of what we as a team try to create for our patients and families. Hearing of Ben’s challenge to himself, getting out of his comfort zone to raise money for our unit is incredibly humbling. Such actions give us the opportunity to improve our patients and families experience and we as a team cannot thank Ben enough.”

Ben is an inspiration to us all. He is setting himself a big challenge and is proving that anyone can achieve their goals, whether that’s to run a marathon or something a little smaller.

Choosing to fundraise to say thank you to the hospital is a really personal and amazing thing to do. We’re very proud to have Ben on our marathon team!

If you would like to show your support to Ben you can make a donation on his JustGiving page.

 

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John’s 3,000 mile motorcycle challenge in memory of late wife

Original article from Gazette & Herald.

A ROWDE man is taking on a poignant journey across Great Britain in honour of his late wife.

John Dalley lost his wife Delia, known as Dee, on July 14.

She was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2020 and was given only six months to live.

John, from Rowde and Dee from Potterne, met at school and were together for 17 years.

“She was just 55,” he told the Gazette.

“Dee was bubbly, kind and loving – she was a really lovely lady. We’ve been cheated out of a loving mother and grandmother.”

Dee worked as a carer across the county and had a gentle and positive spirit. She will be missed by her family, as well as the Rowde community.

She leaves behind a daughter, Gema and a son, Liam.

John is currently taking on a massive fundraising journey across football, cricket and rugby grounds to raise as much money as he can for both Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Back in 2011, John had visited all 92 football league club grounds on a 30-year-old Honda 250 Superdream and raised £3,500.

The ride celebrated the 25 years since he and the late John Pearce founded Rowde Football Club.

He had hoped to do a similar ride for his ten year anniversary, but did not expect that Dee would not be by his side for the journey.

“Dee went downhill really rapidly, the cancer absolutely ravaged her,” John said.

“She fought long and hard, and very bravely. She really encouraged me to do this and knew I’d been wanting to do a 10 year anniversary ride anyway. She held my hand and said I had to do it.”

John started the challenge last week and will finish at Dorothy’s House on Monday, August 16.

He will travel around 3,000 miles on his motorbike and has already ticked off grounds in Oxford, Swindon, Northampton, Burton and Birmingham.

With many more to go, he hopes to reach Scunthorpe on Saturday (August 7) in time to see Swindon Town kick off their new season.

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – The Giles Family

Peter, Sarah, Noah and Reuben Giles from Kington Langley, Wiltshire are taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s flagship sponsored walk, the Walk of Life in September to support the Royal United Hospitals Bath.

Peter Giles shared with us the reason why he is walking for the RUH: “My late wife Val had a couple of 10 day stays in RUH with complications from the MS she lived with for nearly 45 years.  The second stay, sadly, ended with her death six years ago.  But throughout both stays she couldn’t have asked for better or more sympathetic care.  She had nothing but the highest praise for all the staff and for her treatment.  They deserve our help.”

The family will be walking an impressive 26.2 miles each on Saturday 18th September 2021. A marathon distance is a big challenge, but even more so for Noah (age 10) and Reuben (age 9), who will be two of our youngest walkers!

Noah and Reuben said:  “We are looking forward to the Walk of Life, with our Mummy and Grandad, to raise money for The Forever Friends Appeal because our local hospital has looked after lots of members of our family.

We are very grateful to the doctors and nurses who work so hard especially after such a difficult year and hope to raise lots of money for them.  We are nervous about the walk because it is such a long way, much further than we’ve ever walked before and it is going to be a very big challenge for us. We hope we can make it!”

You can support the family by donating to their fundraising pages here:

Peter’s page – https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/peter-giles

Sarah, Noah and Reuben’s page – https://foreverfriendsappeal.enthuse.com/pf/sarah-the-boys-037c2

If you’d like to join the Giles family and others making a difference for the hospital with every step, you can sign up to the 26.2 mile or 10 mile walking routes at the Walk of Life here.

 

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#WhyIWalk for the RUH – Kerri’s story

Kerri Gardner from Wiltshire is taking part in The Forever Friends Appeal’s flagship sponsored walk, the Walk of Life in September to say thank you to the Intensive Care Unit for caring for her father in 2016.

A manager for a care company and an advocate for raising awareness around Bowel Cancer, Kerri shared her #WhyIWalk reasons:

“My dad was admitted to the intensive care unit at RUH in November 2016. He was a very proud man and despite pleas from the family he would not visit the doctor. My dad was losing weight and was unwell for about a year before he was taken by ambulance to the RUH.

I am a manager for a care company and have been in the industry for about 20 years, so I had a fair idea of what my dad was suffering from. My fears were confirmed when he was diagnosed with bowl cancer/ sepsis and after having an operation to have a stoma bag he had a heart attack and sadly passed away on 11th December.

The support the ICU gave my dad and my family was absolutely amazing and we will never be able to thank them enough. They allowed us to stay by my dad’s side and the very minimal time we did leave him they accepted our calls, passed on messages and generally cared. The staff there did everything they could to keep my dad comfortable and to treat his illness and I will never forget the compassion and understanding they showed him when he was clearly scared.

I want to raise as much awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of going to the doctor or hospital if you are concerned about your health. I do believe if my dad was not so embarrassed to discuss the lump he found and its location he may still be here.

Every Christmas now, I have explained to my friends and family I will not be sending cards and I donate to the RUH instead.  The attached photo is of myself and my dad on our last Christmas together.

Personally I don’t do a lot of walking so the Walk of Life I am doing is going to be a challenge for me, but not as big as the challenge the staff at the RUH face daily. Every little helps and I urge anyone no matter how big or small support the RUH where possible as you never know when you may need their support.”

Kerri will be walking 10 miles along the Kennet & Avon Canal on the 18 September as part of the Walk of Life. Kerri has already raised £160 for the Royal United Hospitals Bath – you can make a donation to her fundraising here.

If you’d like to join Kerri and others making a difference for the hospital with every step, you can sign up to the 26.2 mile or 10 mile walking routes at the Walk of Life here.

Do you have a reason for #WhyIWalk? Get in touch to let us know at ruh-tr.fundraising@nhs.net.

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Work gets underway on new Dyson Cancer Centre at the RUH

A groundbreaking event has marked the official start of construction work for the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals’ (RUH) Combe Park site. The new Centre will provide a cancer services hub for half a million people in the South West.

Once complete, the Dyson Cancer Centre will bring together the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research, under one roof, providing oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward.

Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive of the RUH said: “It’s fantastic to see work get underway on this truly special building, which will make such a difference for our community. We’ve worked closely with patients, staff and those with an interest in cancer services to design the Dyson Cancer Centre. It will be a nurturing and therapeutic environment where our staff can continue to provide the highest quality care and our patients and their loved ones can receive all the support they need in one purpose designed building.”

Representatives of patients, staff and construction partner Kier as well as key fundraisers the Forever Friends Appeal and Macmillan Cancer were on site to mark the occasion.

Sir James Dyson paid a visit to the RUH earlier in the year, as demolition work to prepare the site for the new Centre drew to a close. Sir James and Deirdre Dyson have a strong connection to the RUH having welcomed two of their children, Sam and Jake, at the hospital. The James Dyson Foundation contributed £4m to the overall cost of the new Centre.

Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson said: “The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care demonstrated the very significant effect that design and architecture can have on the recovery of patients. The bright, well designed spaces quickly proved their value to babies, something that we hope to replicate in the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

“Cancer is the most terrible of diseases, but by bringing cutting edge technology, design features, natural light and therapeutic green spaces, we hope this new building will support patients, families and staff through harrowing times.”

In addition to the generous donation from the Dyson Foundation, the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal raised a further £6m. Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising said: “We are thrilled to see these works starting and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of the 8,500 supporters who have helped raise funds for the Dyson Cancer Centre, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

The new Centre will also include a specially designed Macmillan Wellbeing Hub. Richard Pugh, Macmillan Cancer Head of Partnerships Wales & South West said: “The Hub will be a non-clinical, calming space, offering practical and emotional support to people living with cancer. It will be there for everyone – from people with cancer to their carers and their families. It will help them every step of the way through cancer from diagnosis, during treatment, in recovery, and at the end of life.”

The remainder of the funding for the Dyson Cancer Centre will be provided by the government.

Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Delivering cancer care is, and has been a top priority, throughout the pandemic and we remain committed to delivering on our NHS Long Term Plan to save 55,000 more lives from cancer every year by 2028.

“I’m delighted work is beginning on this new cancer facility at the RUH which draws together services and includes a Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, improving NHS cancer services for half a million patients in the South West for many years to come.

“The centre is part of the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, which we’re funding to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.”

The groundbreaking event marked the next major milestone in a significant programme of work to transform services and facilities located on the older, northern part of the RUH’s site. The Trust is once again working with construction partner Kier who have played a significant role in the changing face of the RUH.

David Snell, Strategic Healthcare Director at Kier Regional Building Western & Wales said:

“We are delighted to continue our work with the RUH, who we have worked with since 2013. Over that time we have worked closely with the Trust on the phased redevelopment of the hospital, including delivering the William Herschel building – a new modern pathology lab and mortuary, the Forbes Fraser Pharmacy and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and Brownsword Therapies Centre which opened in September 2019.

The groundbreaking date also marked 10 years to the day since another outstanding facility opened at the RUH, the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, part funded by the James Dyson Foundation.

Since opening, the award-winning neonatal centre has cared for around 500 babies and families a year, in surroundings that provide a beneficial healing environment for babies and reduce stress levels experienced by their parents. The difference has been demonstrated by the research undertaken comparing the old and new units.

After seeing the success this considered architecture had on medical care, James Dyson was motivated to support RUH with this approach for cancer services. Hear from Sir James and RUH staff following the James Dyson Foundation’s visit to RUH earlier this year here.

Those interested in the new Dyson Cancer Centre can find out more at a virtual event on Wednesday 28 July where there will be the opportunity to hear from some of the team involved in the project and have any questions answered. Email: ruh-tr.capitalprojects@nhs.net if you would like to attend.

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Celebrating 10 years of the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care

In July 2011, Royal United Hospitals opened the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care.  A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) designed to provide a beneficial healing environment, reducing stress levels experienced by the babies and their parents.  Since opening, the award winning centre has cared for around 500 babies and families a year and the hospital is celebrating 10 years of supporting families like Taya’s.


“We will forever be grateful to all the NICU staff at the RUH.  If it wasn’t for these superheroes, our boys and I simply wouldn’t be here today.”

Mum of twin boys, Taya, was born at the hospital’s original NICU 32 years ago. Taya was the second smallest baby on the Unit at the time, weighing just 1 pound 9 ounces and born prematurely at six months. Thanks to the care of RUH staff in 1989, Taya has been able to start her own family and her twin boys Harvey and Charlie were born earlier this year.

Recalling their NICU journey, Taya said: “Our pregnancy was going well until a scan at 29 weeks picked up on an abnormality; late twin-to-twin transfusion. This meant there was a growth difference between our boys and Charlie’s placenta was growing weaker. Over the next few days, I developed early signs of pre-eclampsia and so we were quickly transferred to the labour ward and then the delivery suite.

Harvey and Charlie were born at 29+5 weeks on Tuesday 12th January 2021 at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, weighing only 3 and 2.5 pounds. We were soon transferred to NICU at the RUH where they had 24/7 care from the incredible team and specialised treatment for their breathing problems.

Being a NICU parent is a unique experience full of highs and lows – we were fortunate to spend 10 weeks watching our boys’ progress each day as they grew in strength, we were the lucky ones, because sadly this isn’t always the case for every baby in NICU.

The main thing that helped us get through it was all the care and support we received.  Not just from the amazing NICU staff and counsellors, but also the special bonds that we made with other parents. This was especially important during Covid. Having people we could relate to was so valuable and helped make this difficult journey a bit easier, as well as was a huge distraction from everything that was happening in the world.”

Even though the NICU team were healthcare staff, they became like family to Taya and Joel. The family’s first Mother’s Day was on the Unit – where the nurses even surprised them and all the other mothers with cards from Harvey and Charlie and the rest of the children in NICU.

They were also involved in their children’s care from the very beginning, with support from kangaroo care, to begin feeding and learn baby-safe CPR. The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care benefits from parent accommodation, allowing parents like Taya to live on the Unit to aid this transition and reassure that their children are in safe hands.

Reflecting on their time in NICU, Taya said, “Covid put an extra pressure on all new parents, but we always knew we were in the best place possible. The care provided in the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care is unique – it’s really very special. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and we owe so much to the team for looking after our whole family so well and for sending us safel

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Sign up for the Walk of Life 2021

Take part in the Walk of Life event this year on Saturday 18 September and show your support for your local hospital.

The popular walking marathon event is organised by the Royal United Hospitals Bath charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. After a year of supporting the hospital from a distance, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of an event and make your steps matter for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).

There are three options to choose from – either walk the full 26.2 miles from Bishop Cannings near Devizes, along the Kennett and Avon canal to the finish line at the Holbourne Museum in Bath. Alternatively, there’s the 10 mile distance, where you can join the walkers in Bradford on Avon in the afternoon. This year, a virtual marathon event is being offered too, where you can walk the full 26.2 miles your way across the month of September.

Kerri Gardner, who is donning her walking boots to take on the 10 mile walk this September, is walking to say thank you for the care her dad received in 2016.  Kerri said: “My dad was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at RUH in November 2016. He was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer/Sepsis and after having an operation to have a stoma bag, he had a heart attack and sadly passed away on 11th December.

The support the ICU gave my dad and my family was absolutely amazing and we will never be able to thank them enough. They allowed us to stay by my dad’s side and the very minimal time we did leave him they accepted our calls, passed on messages and generally cared. The staff there did everything they could to keep my dad comfortable and to treat his illness and I will never forget the compassion and understanding they showed him when he was clearly scared.

Personally I don’t do a lot of walking so the Walk of Life will be a challenge for me, but not as big as the challenge the staff at the RUH face daily. I urge anyone no matter how big or small support the RUH where possible as you never know when you may need their support.”

Last year’s virtual Walk of Life marathon event raised £40,000 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, as well as support wards and department in the hospital.

Laura Pearce, Events and Community Manager said: “With two months until the event, we really can’t wait to welcome people back to our annual Walk of Life event. We are hoping to see hundreds of people join us and those who complete the challenge will receive a unique finisher medal.

Like every charity, we’ve adapted due to COVID-19, so there will be a few changes to the event, including COVID-19 measures to keep everyone safe and offering a virtual marathon for those who want to take part in their own time.”

The Walk of Life event is open to everyone and costs £15 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.

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

To find out more about the Walk of Life and to sign up, visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk. You can donate to Kerri’s fundraising page here.

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HomeLets joins The Forever Friends Appeal as Corporate Principal Partner

Following the much-anticipated completion of the Cancer Care Campaign fundraising target of £10m, The Forever Friends Appeal is delighted to welcome HomeLets on board as Principal Corporate Partner following a generous donation to the Dyson Cancer Centre.

The Dyson Cancer Centre will bring the majority of cancer services, including research, under one roof, providing oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward. We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England & Improvement team on overall timescales so that the hospital can open for patients as early as possible, currently scheduled for autumn 2023.

A well-known Bath company and long-term supporter, HomeLets first began working with the Appeal in 2017 as part of the ‘Be a Brick’ project. Since then, HomeLets has been involved in sponsoring the hugely popular 2018 Walk of Life event and the Hope Ball in 2019.

The Cancer Care Campaign has always been of significant importance to Marcus Arundell, Managing Director of HomeLets, after his late Mother and founder of HomeLets, Caroline Arundell passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2014. A former nurse, Caroline was recognised for her caring nature in her roles across both medicine and property.

Marcus Arundell, Managing Director at HomeLets said: “HomeLets is proud to be able to continue our ongoing support for The Forever Friends Appeal, and in particular the all-new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath.

This is a cause incredibly close to all our hearts. The new Dyson Cancer Centre will make a huge difference to patients and their families as they navigate the challenges presented by Cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as facilitating all-important future research.

The HomeLets team very much look forward to following the Centre’s development and celebrating its key milestones and completion over the coming years.”

Rhyannon Boyd Head of Fundraising at The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We’ve been delighted to work with Marcus and the HomeLets team for a number of years and are very appreciative of their continued support. We know of the incredible impact this donation will have in treating and caring for patients, their families and staff of the Dyson Centre for years to come. We thoroughly look forward to working with HomeLets as our newest Principal Corporate Partner.”

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